William Blake
Catherine Blake. Verso: A Man’s Head and Other Drawings c.1805

Artwork details

William Blake 1757–1827
Catherine Blake. Verso: A Man’s Head and Other Drawings
Date c.1805
Medium Graphite on paper. Verso: ink on paper
Dimensions Support: 286 x 221 mm
Acquisition Bequeathed by Miss Alice G.E. Carthew 1940
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

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Blake's wife Catherine was born in Battersea in April 1762; her full name was Catherine Sophia Boucher. She married Blake at St Mary's, Battersea on 18 August 1782. Blake's first biographer wrote of her: 'A brunette and very pretty are terms I have picked up as conveying something regarding her appearance in more youthful days. Blake himself would boast what a pretty wife he had. She lost her beauty as the seasons sped, - never saw a woman so much altered was the impression of one on meeting her again after a lapse of but seven years; a life of hard work and privation having told heavily upon her in the interim.' Catherine helped Blake in printing and colouring his Illuminated Books.

October 1996

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