William Blake Satan Smiting Job with Sore Boils 1825, reprinted 1874

Artwork details

William Blake 1757–1827
Satan Smiting Job with Sore Boils
Date 1825, reprinted 1874
Medium Line engraving on paper
Dimensions Image: 198 x 153 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 one of twenty-one prints illustrating the Old Testament Book of Job, which Blake published in 1826. They were commissioned by Blake’s young admirer, John Linnell. Blake saw Job's trials and eventual spiritual rebirth as parallels to the creative struggles of the artist. Above the image is a quotation stressing Job's submission to his trials. The borders of the prints, which include extra images and text, complement the main engravings.

Blake went on to produce a tempera painting of this scene, in which he slightly changed the composition.

September 2004

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