William BlakeThe Blasphemer c.1800

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Artwork details

Artist
William Blake (1757‑1827)
Title
The Blasphemer
Date c.1800
MediumInk, graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensionssupport: 384 x 340 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Bequeathed by Miss Alice G.E. Carthew 1940
Reference
N05195
On display at Tate Britain
Theme: BP Spotlights

Display caption

This powerful watercolour illustrates lines from Leviticus in the Old Testament. It shows the son of an Israelite woman being stoned for blasphemy. God had told Moses that anyone who ‘blasphemeth the name of the Lord... shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him.’

This picture was one of a group of 135 drawings and paintings of biblical subjects by Blake, commissioned by his most loyal patron, Thomas Butts.

September 2004

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