William Blake
Job’s Sacrifice 1825, reprinted 1874

Artwork details

William Blake 1757–1827
Job’s Sacrifice
Date 1825, reprinted 1874
Medium Line engraving on paper
Dimensions Image: 198 x 150 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
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Display caption

This is plate 18 of the set of twenty-one engraved illustrations to the 'Book of Job'. They were commissioned by Blake's friend, the artist John Linnell (1792-1882) and Blake worked on them from 1823 to 1825. We know from Linnell that the plates for this series were 'cut with the graver entirely on copper without the aid of [etching acid]'. The effects of darkness and light achieved by this method, combined with the recurring energy of pure line, are always appropriate to the subject. In this sense of unity, the 'Job' series ranks among Blake's supreme achievements as a printmaker. The burin and the palette seen in the margin next to an open bible link the artist with Christ's work as a preacher.

August 2004

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