William Blake, The Great Red Dragon and the Beast from the Sea (detail), circa 1805. Pen and watercolor, National Gallery of Art, Washington.
The Great Red Dragon and the Beast from the Sea is one of a series of watercolors by William Blake (1757-1827), an English Romantic poet, painter, and printmaker, which depict “the great red dragon” from the Book of Revelation. This detail depicts the top half a large composition. The seven-headed, ten-horned dragon stands above a beast emerging from the sea, also with seven heads and ten horns, wielding a sword in one hand and a torch in the other. Interestingly, Blake’s beasts do not take a particularly animalistic form but are rather based on the human figure.