Thomas Stothard
A Scene on the Medway c.1780–1

Artwork details

Thomas Stothard 1755–1834
A Scene on the Medway
Date c.1780–1
Medium Etching on paper
Dimensions Image: 169 x 214 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1996
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Display caption

Blake was friendly with Thomas Stothard when he was a student at the Royal Academy. According to Stothard’s biographer, in about late 1780 Blake, Stothard and another friend went on a sketching trip on the river Medway. This led to Blake’s first experience of one effect of war: all three were arrested as spies for the French.

This etching shows the improvised camp that was made while they were detained. A successful appeal to Royal Academicians for character references ensured their release.

July 2008

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