The Sea Monster and the Beast with the Lamb s Horn (1497 – 1498) by Albrecht Durer

The Sea Monster and the Beast with the Lamb s Horn - Albrecht Durer - 1497 - 1498

Artwork Information

TitleThe Sea Monster and the Beast with the Lamb s Horn
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Date1497 - 1498
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationStaatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany

About The Sea Monster and the Beast with the Lamb s Horn

“The Sea Monster and the Beast with the Lamb’s Horn” is a piece of religious artwork created by Albrecht Dürer between 1497 and 1498. This work is part of the “Apocalypse” series, a hallmark of Dürer’s exploration of religious themes during the Northern Renaissance period. The original piece is housed at the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe in Karlsruhe, Germany.

In the artwork, Dürer depicts a dramatic scene filled with symbolic imagery drawn from the Book of Revelation. Centerstage is a monstrous beast with multiple heads, resembling a hydra, rising from the sea and turning to confront a lamb standing on a cloud. Surrounding the lamb are what appears to be a group of devoted followers or saints. The composition is filled with contrasts: the peaceful and pure presentation of the lamb set against the grotesque and chaotic form of the sea monster. Additionally, a majestic figure presumably representing a religious or divine personage is seated amidst clouds above, surrounded by cherubic figures.

The intricate work is full of fine lines and details, with Dürer’s skillful use of woodcut printing techniques. Each character is rich in expression and details, from the elaborate clothing of the figures to the elaborate patterns and textures in the clouds and the monstrous form of the beast. The crowded composition conveys a sense of intense drama and awe, capturing the apocalyptic vision with remarkable artistic skill. Dürer’s work is emblematic of the Northern Renaissance’s focus on both spirituality and the advancement of artistic technique.

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