William Blake
The Six-Footed Serpent Attacking Agnolo Brunelleschi 1826–7, reprinted 1892

Artwork details

William Blake 1757–1827
The Six-Footed Serpent Attacking Agnolo Brunelleschi
Date 1826–7, reprinted 1892
Medium Line engraving on paper
Dimensions Image: 246 x 340 mm
Acquisition Purchased with the assistance of a special grant from the National Gallery and donations from the Art Fund, Lord Duveen and others, and presented through the the Art Fund 1919
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Display caption

Agnolo Brunelleschi was a thief whose punishment was to be attacked for all eternity by a serpent. Their two bodies merge into one another, so that Brunelleschi’s appearance befits his sin.

Blake shows the moment at which the serpent begins to inhabit Brunelleschi’s body, as its jaws engulf his head and it sinks its claws into his skin.

March 2011

About this artwork