This engraving was commissioned from Blake by Dr Thornton, who had also published his designs for an edition of Virgil’s ‘Pastorals’. The print first appeared in a small Christmas annual, or ‘Keepsake’ called Remember Me! which was published in late 1824.
Blake had originally treated this subject in a larger tempera painting which is now lost. Although The Hiding of Moses was a minor commission, Blake gave the print a beauty and intensity which is unique among his purely commercial engravings.