William Blake

Sketch for ‘The Four and Twenty Elders Casting their Crowns before the Divine Throne’. Verso: Standing Figure with Arms at his Side

c.1803, c.1805–10

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
William Blake 1757–1827
Graphite on paper. Verso: graphite on paper
Support: 488 × 389 mm
Presented by Mrs John Richmond 1922

Display caption

This is a sketch for the finished watercolour. Despite the looseness of Blake’s pencil marks, he retains a symmetrical composition. This balance of sketchiness and symmetry is maintained in the finished piece. 

Gallery label, September 2004

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Catalogue entry

A00033 Sketch for ‘The Four and Twenty Elders casting their Crowns before the Divine Throne’ c. 1803 (recto) Standing Figure with Arms at his Side c. 1805–10(?) (verso)

A 00033 / B 516
Pencil 488×389 (19 1/4×15 5/16); the drawing on the verso is upside down
Inscribed on recto by Frederick Tatham ‘William Blake - First design. sketch, 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, pp.367–8 no.516, pls.612 and 614

The recto is a sketch for N05897. The verso could be for some such subject as a ‘Raising of Lazarus’, though it is nothing like the figure in the watercolour painted for Thomas Butts (see N05199). It is similar in character to the versi of A00043, A00049 and A00048.

This work was formerly inventoried as no.3694 i.

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

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