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This image, which Turner described as a ‘Pastoral’, shows a landscape of the England (‘Albion’) of Blake’s day. It does not conform exactly to the words ‘Albions lovely land’ which Blake inscribed on the proof frontispiece to the book Jerusalem also shown in this display. Showing men hard at work it is not a scene from the Golden Age of man’s innocence. But the future return of the Golden Age is implied in the concluding words of  the hymn Jerusalem: that of peace built in our ‘green & pleasant land’.    

July 2008