The Beast as Described in the Revelations

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Thomas Rowlandson (1757-1827), after a design by G. Sauley of Farnham (active 1805-1806), The Beast as Described in the Revelations, Chap. 13. Resembling Napolean Bounaparte [sic], 1808. Hand colored etching. Graphic Arts caricature collection.

In 1808, Rowlandson began a series of prints for Rudolph Ackermann comparing figures from the Napoleonic Wars to those in the Book of Revolutions. The first was titled: The Corsican Tiger at Bay and the second: The Beast as Described in the Revelations; both completed in July. The Political Butcher followed in September, then Napoleon the Little in a Rage with his Great French Eagle, and finally in 1809, The Rising Sun.

In this print, a Spanish patriot is seen attacking a tiger with seven crowned heads. The first head is Napoleon, whose neck has been cut, causing him to vomit flames. Spain says “True patriotism shall thus subdue the monstrous beast and quell the rage of war!” The other heads are named Austria, Naples, Holland, Denmark, Prussia, and Russia. As crowns begin to fall, a woman, representing Hope, gathers them up in her apron.

Note the 666 on the tiger. If you write out the alphabet and give each letter a number: a=1, b=2, c=3, etc., then count the numbers for the name Napolean Bounaparte (perhaps the spelling is changed for that reason), you get 666. In this way, Napoleon become the biblical beast.