The exhibition of the work of William Blake which the British Council has been able to send to Paris, Antwerp and Zürich is of outstanding importance thanks in the first place to the generous cooperation of the Trustees of the Tate Gallery and of the veteran collector Mr. Graham Robertson.
For many years Mr. Graham Robertson’s Blake collection has been renowned as the most distinguished in existence. His purchases from the Butts family of the group of masterpieces accumulated by the artist’s friend and patron, Thomas Butts, form a substantial nucleus, but to these have been added many other splendid examples.
Setting aside the 25 examples drawn from the Tate, a total of 45 out of the remaining 66 works in this exhibition are from the collection formed by Mr. Robertson.
Nine of these, the magnificent series of colour-printed drawings, which are perhaps the crown of Blake’s achievement, were presented to the Gallery in 1939. For the first time these are here shown together with a tenth, Christ Appearing, the only example remaining in the possession of their former owner and now on loan for this occasion.