Robert Blake

Six Drawings of Figures with Outstretched Arms

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Robert Blake 1762–1787
Graphite on paper
Support: 318 × 394 mm
Presented by Mrs John Richmond 1922

Catalogue entry

A00004 Six Drawings of Figures with Outstretched Arms (recto and verso)

A 00004 / B R8
Pencil, each approx. 150×95 (6×3 3/4), on paper 395×319 (15 9/16×12 9/16); the paper has been folded twice, once in each direction Watermarked ‘PRO PATRIA’ and ‘GR’ Inscribed on recto by Frederick Tatham ‘William Blake vouched by Frederick Tatham’ b.r.
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 no.2) £2.10.0 bt Dr Richard Sisley; his daughter Mrs John Richmond
LITERATURE Butlin 1981, p.623 no.R8, pls.1187 and 1188

Similar to A00002 above. The upper half of the recto contains a single drawing of two figures. At first both held their arms out before them but the artist subsequently raised the arms of the right-hand figure to a more upright position.

The paper was then folded vertically as well as horizontally, dividing each side into four sections. The two new sections on the recto and three of those on the verso (excluding the lower right-hand section which is blank) were then filled with separate drawings, all facing in different directions but showing similar figures, singly or in pairs, full-length or head-and-shoulders only, raising or holding out their arms. In each case the gesture is stressed by the figures' exaggeratedly long index fingers.

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

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


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