Thomas Stothard
The Pilgrimage to Canterbury 1806–7

Artwork details

Thomas Stothard 1755–1834
The Pilgrimage to Canterbury
Date 1806–7
Medium Oil paint on oak
Dimensions Support: 318 x 952 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1884
Not on display

Display caption

The engraver and publisher Robert Cromek commissioned this painting from Blake’s friend Stothard. Cromek put it on display and charged visitors a shilling to see it. He also collected subscriptions for the forthcoming print of the painting.  

Blake claimed that Cromek had commissioned a painting of the Canterbury Pilgrims from him first, but Cromek had not liked the design and so took the commission to Stothard. Blake accused Cromek and, through him, Stothard of copying his long, frieze-like composition. It is unlikely that Blake’s accusations were well-founded, but the dispute effectively ended Blake and Stothard's friendship.

September 2004

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