William Blake The Night of Enitharmon’s Joy (formerly called ‘Hecate’) c.1795

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Artwork details

Artist
William Blake 1757–1827
Title
The Night of Enitharmon’s Joy (formerly called ‘Hecate’)
Date c.1795
Medium Colour print, ink, tempera and watercolour on paper
Dimensions Support: 439 x 581 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Presented by W. Graham Robertson 1939
Reference
N05056
Not on display

Display caption

The dense, dark colour-printing in the sky and the rocks suggests that this was the first of the three known impressions to be printed.  Blake has used pen and ink to give strong outlines to the figures, and to draw locks of hair, the bat, and the donkey’s mane and rough coat. The figures have been given form and roundness by washes of intense but transparent colour. The owl’s eyes are highlighted with a bright, opaque red wash.

Enitharmon is a character in Blake’s mythology. In her ‘night of joy’ she sets out her false religion.

September 2004

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