William Blake Job’s Comforters 1825, reprinted 1874

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Artwork details

Artist
William Blake 1757–1827
Title
Job’s Comforters
Date 1825, reprinted 1874
Medium Line engraving on paper
Dimensions Image: 198 x 153 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased with the assistance of a special grant from the National Gallery and donations from the Art Fund, Lord Duveen and others, and presented through the the Art Fund 1919
Reference
A00018
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Display caption

In Blake's series of twenty-one illustrations to the Book of Job this plate comes immediately after the one which shows Job being tortured by a rash of boils. Here he lies exhausted and resigned, supported by his wife. The words in the top margin are from Job's reproof to his wife after she has said to him 'curse God, and die' because of the trials he has suffered. Job's comforters, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar remain with him for seven days and nights. The small figures in the margins convey a sense of sorrow and patience. These are characteristics of Job's state of mind at this moment and for the foreseeable future.

September 1998

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