William Blake
The Body of Christ Borne to the Tomb c.1799–1800

Artwork details

William Blake 1757–1827
The Body of Christ Borne to the Tomb
Date c.1799–1800
Medium Tempera on canvas mounted onto cardboard
Dimensions Support: 267 x 378 mm
frame: 390 x 497 x 63 mm
Acquisition Presented by Francis T. Palgrave 1884
On display at Tate Britain

Display caption

This tempera is very well preserved, mainly because it was painted on thin linen canvas, stuck onto thin cardboard. This is stiff enough to reduce the cracking that develops on flexible canvas. It also made it unnecessary to add the animal glue lining which has spoilt the opaque white effect of Blake's chalk preparatory layer in many temperas. As a result, Blake's delicate painted details can still be seen as he intended.

This is the only Blake tempera in this room in a frame dating from the time it was painted.  Blake may have chosen the frame design himself.

August 2004

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