William Blake

Two Figures in a Decorative Border


Image released under

License this image

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
William Blake 1757–1827
Graphite on paper
Support: 122 × 203 mm
Presented by Mrs John Richmond 1922

Catalogue entry

A00042 Two Figures in a Decorative Border c.1790

A 00042 / B 220
Pencil approx. 95 × 160 (3 3/4 × 6 1/4) on paper 122 × 203 (4 13/16 × 8)
Inscribed by Frederick Tatham ‘William Blake Frederick Tatham’ b.r.
Presented by Mrs John Richmond 1922
PROVENANCE Mrs Blake; Frederick Tatham; his brother-in-law George Richmond, sold Christic's 29 April 1897 (in 147, with 22 other works; see no.2) £2.10.0 bt Dr Richard Sisely; his daughter, Mrs John Richmond
LITERATURE Butlin 1981, p.115 no.220, pl.251

The subject is difficult to make out but appears to be a girl, or perhaps a female centaur, looking down at another more sketchily drawn figure reclining in the lower left-hand corner of the scroll-like border. Although the drawing has been attributed to Robert Blake (see p.00) it seems to be a work by William, of, very roughly, about 1790. It is perhaps connected with one of the early illuminated books or a decorative illustration. The girl's head has some points of similarity to that in the drawing perhaps related to The Book of Thel, 1789, in the British Museum (Butlin 1981, no.219, pl.250).
This work was formerly inventoried as no.3694 xiii.

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

You might like

In the shop