William BlakeSt Christopher, Copy from an Engraving? Verso:Part of a Face: Copy from a Plaster Cast: a Daughter of Niobe? ?c.1779-80

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Artwork details

Artist
William Blake (1757‑1827)
Title
St Christopher, Copy from an Engraving? Verso:Part of a Face: Copy from a Plaster Cast: a Daughter of Niobe?
Date ?c.1779-80
MediumInk on paper. Verso: graphite on paper
Dimensionssupport: 435 x 338 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Presented by Mrs John Richmond 1922
Reference
A00045
On display at Tate Britain
Theme: BP Spotlights

Display caption

From about July 1779 Blake was a probationer in the Royal Academy Schools, hoping to become a student there. He would have made drawings from casts of classical sculptures, such as the one shown in room 7.

Blake’s drawing skills clearly met the Academicians’ standards and he became a student in October 1779. This drawing seems to be taken from one of the Academy’s casts of figures from the ancient Greek sculptures known as the Niobe Group. Its careful rendering of light and shade is in the style expected of Academy students at the time.

September 2004

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