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By 1498, Dürer had published more than two dozen prints, which brought him to the attention of artists and connoisseurs not only in his native Nuremberg and other German-speaking areas but also across the Alps in Italy. It was the prodigious woodcuts of The Apocalypse, however, published in 1498, that made him enormously famous. This last image in the series marks the appearance of the whore of Babylon in the book of Revelation (17:3–4): "And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of names of blasphemy with seven heads and ten horns. The woman was garbed in purple and scarlet, and gilded with gold, gems, and pearls, and bearing a golden goblet in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication." Babylon, the domain that embodies evil on earth, burns with huge explosions of flame and smoke in the distance, and from the upper left come the armies of heaven, led by the knight Faithful-and-True.

This print was purchased to pay tribute to Dean James J. Heller, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College from 1961 to 1988. Dean Heller was also a biblical scholar on the faculty of Moravian Theological Seminary. One of his areas of expertise was the Book of Revelation. His lectures on that topic were extensively illustrated by the prints from Dürer's "The Apocalypse."

Details

  • Title: The Whore of Babylon, from The Apocalypse
  • Creator: Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471–1528)
  • Date Created: c. 1498
  • Physical Dimensions: 15-5/8 x 11-1/4"
  • Type: Print
  • Rights: Copyright 2022 Payne Gallery of Moravian University
  • Medium: Woodcut
  • Credit: Moravian College Permanent Collection Payne Foundation Fund

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