William Blake

Composition Sketch for ‘The Fall of the Rebel Angels’? Verso: Standing Figure with Flaming Hair


Not on display

William Blake 1757–1827
Graphite on paper. Verso: graphite on paper
Support: 502 × 425 mm
Presented by Mrs John Richmond 1922

Catalogue entry

A00049 Composition Sketch for ‘The Fall of the Rebel Angels’(?) c.1805–10 (recto)
Standing Figure with Flaming Hair c. 1805–10(?) (verso)

A 00049 / B 588
Pencil approx. 375×290 (14 3/4×11 1/2) on paper 502×425 (19 3/4×16 3/4)
Inscribed on verso by Frederick Tatham ‘William Blake Frederick Tatham’ b.r.
Presented by Mrs John Richmond 1922
Mrs Blake; Frederick Tatham; his brother-in-law George Richmond, sold Christie's 29 April 1897 (in 147 with 22 other items; see no.2) £2.10.0 bt Dr Richard Sisley; his daughter Mrs John Richmond
Butlin 1981, p.447 no.588, pls.823 and 824

As in the case of A00048, the drawings on both recto and verso are similar in style to those on N00043 and A00033 but the only known works related to the apparent subject on the recto are the two versions of ‘The Rout of the Rebel Angels’ in the 1807 and 1808 series of illustrations to Paradise Lost (Huntington Library and Boston Museum, Butlin 1981, nos.529 7 and 536 7, colour pls.638 and 651); the compositions are fairly dissimilar however.

The dating of the figure on the verso is difficult to establish as is the case with all the drawings of this type. The stiffness of the figure suggests that it could have been executed some time before the drawing on the recto.

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

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

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