Attributed to John Linnell The Man who Built the Pyramids (after William Blake) c.1825

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Artwork details

Artist
Attributed to John Linnell 1792–1882
Title
The Man who Built the Pyramids (after William Blake)
Date c.1825
Medium Graphite on paper
Dimensions Support: 298 x 214 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Bequeathed by Miss Alice G.E. Carthew 1940
Reference
N05185
Not on display

Display caption

Linnell made a number of replicas of Blake's 'Visionary Heads'. Apparently he intended to engrave them for Varley's projected four-part 'Treatise on Zodiacal Physiognomy'. In fact only one part of the treatise was ever published, in 1828. However the inscription on this drawing, '15 Degrees of Cancer ascending', may well indicate that it was intended as one of the engraved plates in that work. As well as the main figure, the sheet contains a drawing of the architect's mouth open instead of shut (as in 'The Head of a Ghost of a Flea'), a sketch of the 'Egyptian' interior in which Blake saw him in his vision, and an architect's portfolio inscribed with hieroglyphics.

September 2004

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