Gustave Doré [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


I’ve been fairly taken with Gustave Doré lately. I’m not particularly interested in his depictions of God – it’s always a let down when artists depict God as a mere man (with a beard!) (in a toga!) – but his engravings are arresting. A friend of mine and I were discussing how Salvador Dali’s colors seem to glow and how we can’t seem to figure out how he did that. I feel that way about Doré and his engravings. There is only black and white, yet there seems to be light coming from the inks. Look at the rays from the clouds, and more importantly follow the trajectory of that light as Leviathan attempts to flee. The print would have worked especially well had he left “God” out and just let the light be the thing striking fear into Leviathan. Anthropomorphization must be the Romanticism bleeding through.

The inscription reads: In that day the Lord with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish Leviathan the piercing serpent, even Leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea…(Isaiah 27:1). 

Source material in illustration is apparently a boon.