William Blake
The Baffled Devils Fighting 1826–7, reprinted 1892

Artwork details

William Blake 1757–1827
The Baffled Devils Fighting
Date 1826–7, reprinted 1892
Medium Line engraving on paper
Dimensions Image: 242 x 334 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

In April 1827, Blake wrote to John Linnell, ‘I am too much attach’d to Dante to think much of anything else. I have... reduced the [drawing of] the Fighting devils ready for the Copper’. This is the image printed from Blake’s ‘copper’. Ciampolo, condemned to hell for accepting bribes, has escaped the clutches of the devils, causing one devil to turn ‘his talons on his comrade. O’er the dyke in grapple close they joine’d... and in the boiling lake both fell’.  

This was the last of the seven Dante engravings which Blake worked on. It remained unfinished at his death.

September 2004

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