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William Blake 1757–1827
An Allegory of the Bible. Verso: The Shins of an Écorché Male Figure
Date c.1780–5, ?c.1780
Medium Graphite, ink and watercolour on paper. Verso: graphite on paper
Dimensions Support: 615 x 349 mm
Acquisition Bequeathed by Miss Rachel M. Dyer 1969
The title of this work is not Blake’s, but its theme seems to be the revelation of knowledge.
Unusually, the foreground and background were both painted initially with a single base colour. The figures and the screen behind those in the background were applied straight onto the white paper. The screen and the lower half of the sky behind it were originally painted a deep rose, with a red lake pigment that is probably brazilwood. This has lost so much colour, except at the edges, that it gives the unintended effect of a flat brown base tone to the whole screen.
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