The Maiden on the Beast refers to the biblical whore of Babylon, mentioned in the book of Revelation. Since the Russian Orthodox canon began to accept the book of Revelation only in the fourteenth century, all related iconography refers to Western models, which already existed at that time. The nude proffers a goblet containing the sweet-tasting drink of evil deeds, and the beast’s tail seductively transforms into the snake of Satan. Woman and beast embody the idea of universal evil. Here they symbolize the military forces against which the Allies are pitted and over which Christian faith alone would prove triumphant.
The title of the print indicates that Goncharova merged two female figures from the Bible: the whore of Babylon and the woman of the Apocalypse, who is associated with Eve and the Virgin Mary. In this print Goncharova also reflects the Russian fascination with Satanism that began with the Symbolists in the nineteenth century and continued throughout the first decades of the twentieth.
women; nudes; creatures; figures; abstract
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