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Illustrations of the Bible. Great red dragon and the woman clothed in the sun

Drawings and illustrations, 1805, 43.7×34.8 cm

Description of the artwork «Illustrations of the Bible. Great red dragon and the woman clothed in the sun»

The personality of William Blake still appears before us in a halo of mystery. A tendency to mysticism, and the ability of different look at common things are raised up an insurmountable barrier between him and his contemporaries. During the life of this incredibly talented painter and the poet was virtually unknown, and only in the second half of the twentieth century his creation rightfully took its place among the masterpieces of world art. One of the paintings that are widely known to admirers of his talent — "Red dragon", which also is called the "Great red dragon" and "Red dragon and the woman (woman) clothed with the sun".

The picture is William Blake's "Red dragon" was written in the period between 1805 and 1810. From childhood, inclined to mysticism, Blake seeks to unravel the mysteries of the Universe and the intent of its Creator. According to him, in his childhood he saw the face of God and the angels sitting on the branches of trees. Over time, the vision was complemented by the voices that sang hymns and shared with the boys in a variety of knowledge. William painstakingly studied the Bible, the writings of the mystics of the middle Ages and the scientific work of his contemporaries, trying to find the essence and combine what he saw in the whole concept. He writes on biblical topics, and help him with this bright vision, which, apparently, never left him until the end of life.

The subject of the painting is William Blake's "Red dragon" taken from the Book of Revelations. This painting is one of several watercolours on the image of the Dragon of the Apocalypse. Before the audience turns the plot presented in the first four verses of the 12th Chapter of Revelation, which speak of the wife clothed with the sun and adorned with a crown of 12 stars. She lies prone on her back and from her womb but from a child. The woman's face we see the pain and fear for the future of the baby, her hands folded in a prayer-like gesture and reached toward heaven. Looming over her, the Red Dragon spread its wings and is ready to devour the Holy child once it is born.

The characters of William Blake's "Red dragon" are positioned to create the maximum effect voltage: reclining woman occupies about a quarter of the sheet from below while the rest of the space is occupied by a powerful muscular body of a Dragon. The red color of his outstretched wings sets off the Shine of sun's rays, thus illustrating the eternal struggle between light and darkness. The viewer empathizes with the woman, involuntarily admiring this beauty and power of a negative character.
In addition to this painting, the artist also wrote some more: one of the watercolours we can see the same story, shown from another angle where you can see the face of a Dragon. Another picture depicts the moment when the Dragon in anger sends down the water from which rises the beast of the Apocalypse.
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About the artwork

Art form: Drawings and illustrations

Subject and objects: Religious scene

Style of art: Romanticism

Technique: Watercolor, Graphite, Ink

Materials: Paper, Feather

Date of creation: 1805

Size: 43.7×34.8 cm

Artwork in selections: 22 selections

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