Robert Blake

A Figure Bowing before a Seated Old Man with his Arm Outstretched in Benediction. Verso: Indecipherable Sketch

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

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Robert Blake 1762–1787
Watercolour, ink, chalk and graphite on paper. Verso: graphite on paper
Support: 394 × 419 mm
Presented by Mrs John Richmond 1922

Catalogue entry

A00001 A Figure Bowing Before a Seated Old Man with his Arm Outstretched in Benediction (recto)
Indecipherable Sketch (verso)

A00001 / B R9
Recto: pen, wash, black chalk and pencil; Verso: pencil; on paper 393×422 (15 7/8×16 15/16); the paper has been cut irregularly at the left, narrowing to 220 (8 3/4) and, before starting the drawing, the artist added 90 (3 1/4) at the right Presented by Mrs John Richmond 1922
PROVENANCE Mrs Blake; Frederick Tatham; his brother-in-law George Richmond, sold Christie's 29 April 1897 (in 147 with 22 other items; see A00045) £ Dr Richard Sisley; his daughter Mrs John Richmond
LITERATURE Butlin 1981, p.623 no.R9, pls.1189 and 1190

The attribution to Robert Blake was made by Sir Geofrey Keynes in a letter of 23 October 1926. The fragment on the recto is close in style and general arrangement to ‘A Druid Ceremony’ in the Keynes collection (Butlin 1981, no.R3, pl.1182). The paper has been cut roughly to follow the back of the stooping figure on the left, then diagonally up towards the upper edge; there was originally at least one standing figure behind the stooping one.

This work was formerly inventoried by the Tate Gallery as no.3694 ii.

Published in:
Martin Butlin, William Blake 1757-1827, Tate Gallery Collections, V, London 1990

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