William Blake
Job’s Evil Dreams 1825, reprinted 1874

Artwork details

William Blake 1757–1827
Job’s Evil Dreams
Date 1825, reprinted 1874
Medium Line engraving on paper
Dimensions Image: 197 x 152 mm
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
Not on display

Display caption

Blake adapts as his main title words from verse 14 of chapter 7 of the Book of Job: 'Then thou scarest me with dreams, and terrifiest me through visions'. The substance of Job's dreams is not described in chapter 7. However, Blake derives some of his imagery and his quotations in the margins from elsewhere in the Bible. Thus 'my skin is black upon me and my bones are burned with heat' comes from the Book of Job, chapter 30. Satan, seen here hovering over Job, is described in the second book of Corinthians as 'transformed into an Angel of Light.' The flames of Hell which rise up from beneath Job's bed are echoed in the marginal design.

August 1993

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