William Blake
The House of Death 1795–c. 1805

Artwork details

William Blake 1757–1827
The House of Death
Date 1795–c. 1805
Medium Colour print, ink and watercolour on paper
Dimensions Support: 485 x 610 mm
Acquisition Presented by W. Graham Robertson 1939
Not on display

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The English poet John Milton, who died in 1674, was viewed by Blake as England's greatest poet, worthy of emulation but by no means above criticism. It was inevitable that in the large colour prints, his most important printing project, Blake would include Miltonic subjects.This print illustrates lines from Book XI of Milton's poem Paradise Lost. The Archangel Michael shows Adam the misery that will be inflicted on Man now he has eaten the Forbidden Fruit. In a vision of 'Death's 'grim Cave' Adam sees a 'monstrous crew' of men afflicted by 'Diseases dire'.

August 2004

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