William Blake The Four and Twenty Elders Casting their Crowns before the Divine Throne c.1803–5

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Artwork details

Artist
William Blake 1757–1827
Title
The Four and Twenty Elders Casting their Crowns before the Divine Throne
Date c.1803–5
Medium Graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensions Support: 354 x 293 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Presented by the executors of W. Graham Robertson through the Art Fund 1949
Reference
N05897
Not on display

Display caption

This watercolour illustrates a passage from chapter four of the Revelation of St John the Divine. The prophet describes a vision of a heavenly throne:

before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal... round about... were four beasts full of eyes... The four and twenty elders fall down before him... and worship him that liveth for ever and ever.

The Book of Revelation is one of the most dramatic books of the Bible, and Blake was sensitive to its powerful imagery.  

August 2004

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