Overview

No overview.

Inscription

lower left in monogram: WB inv.

Marks and Labels

null

Provenance

Painted for Thomas Butts [1757-1845];[1] by descent to Thomas Butts, Jr. (sale, Messrs. Foster, London, 29 June 1853, no. 87), bought by J.C. Strange, Highgate. (B.F. Stevens and Brown), London. Graham Robertson [1866-1948]; (his sale, Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 22 July 1949, No. 102), bought by the William Blake Trust, whose Trustees sold it 1951 to Lessing J. Rosenwald, Philadelphia; gift to NGA, 1954.

Exhibition History

1799
Royal Academy, London, 1799, no. 154.
1951
The Tempera Paintings of William Blake, Arts Council of Great Britain, London, 1951, no. 29, pl. 8.
1957
The Art of William Blake, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1957, no. 1.
1982
William Blake: His Art and Times, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. London, 1982: 38, fig. 22.
2001
Il Genio e le Passioni. Leonardo e il Cenacolo. Precedenti, innovazioni, riflessi di un capolavoro, Palazzo Reale, Milan, 2001, no. 141, repro.

Bibliography

1863
Rossetti, William. Annotated Catalogue. In Gilchrist, Alexander. Life of William Blake, "Pictor Ignotus." 2 vols. London and Cambridge, 1863: 2:no. 23.
1957
Keynes, Sir Geoffrey. William Blake's Illustrations to the Bible. Clairvaux (The Trianon Press), 1957: xiii, no. 132, repro. pl. vi, color repro.
1965
Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 15
1968
European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1968: 8, repro.
1975
European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 30, repro.
1976
Rosenwald, Lessing J. Recollections of a Collector. New York, 1976: 100.
1977
Bindman, David. Blake as an Artist. Oxford, 1977: 124, 127, 128.
1978
Paley, Morton D. William Blake. Oxford, 1978: 55, pl. 80.
1981
Butlin, Martin. The Paintings and Drawings of William Blake. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981.
1982
Bindman, David. William Blake: His Art and Times. Exh. cat. Yale Center for British Art, New Haven; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. London, 1982: 38, fig. 22.
1985
European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 49, repro.
1992
Hayes, John. British Paintings of the Sixteenth through Nineteenth Centuries. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1992: 14-17, repro. 15.

Conservation Notes

The exceptionally fine canvas is plain woven; it has been lined. The ground is white, thinly applied. The painting is executed in glue tempera (characteristic of Blake's technique), applied in thin, multiple glazes in the figures and in thicker, opaque layers in the dark background; the drapery and details of the figures are applied in stiff, textured paint modified by thin overlying glazes. The painting is very fragile. The canvas is dessicated and brittle; the lining is dry and stained on the reverse; there is minute cleavage throughout the ground and paint layers, caused by contraction of the brittle glue medium. The much darkened varnish was removed and flaking paint fixed with wax when the painting was restored, between 1949 and 1951 for the William Blake Trust. There is a considerable amount of overpaint throughout, applied with minute brushstrokes. The slightly toned natural resin varnish has discolored yellow to a moderate degree.

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