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Identification and Creation

Object Number
William Blake, British (London, England 1757 - 1827 London, England)
Christ Blessing
Other Titles
Alternate Title: The Saviour / Head of Christ in Glory / Head of our Saviour
Work Type
c. 1810
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Tempera on canvas
76.5 x 63.5 cm (30 1/8 x 25 in.)
framed: 99.5 x 86.5 cm (39 3/16 x 34 1/16 in.)


Recorded Ownership History
Thomas Butts, by descent; to Thomas Butts, Jr., sold [through Fosters, London, June 29, 1853, lot 74, as "The Saviour"]; to J. C. Strange. Francis Harvey, 1865. James Jackson Jarves, by descent; to his daughter, Mrs. Annabel Kerr, 1876, by descent; to her husband, Captain Walter R. Kerr?. Private collector, sold [through Christe's, London, July 17, 1925, lot 51]. [Scott and Fowles, New York], sold; to Grenville Lindall Winthrop, 1930, bequest; to Fogg Art Museum, 1943

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art


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Publication History

  • Alexander Gilchrist, The Life of William Blake: Pictor Ignotus (3 vols.), Macmillan and Co. (London, Cambridge, 1863), II, 231; no. 201
  • The Works of William Blake, exh. cat., Burlington Fine Arts Club (London, England, 1876), no. 127
  • Exhibition of Books, Water Colors, Engravings, etc., by William Blake, exh. cat., A. Mudge and Son (Boston, 1891), p. 11, no.14
  • Mona Wilson, The Life of William Blake (London, England, 1927), p. 316, repr. plate XVIII
  • Thomas Wright, Life of William Blake, Bucks (Olney, England, 1929), vol II, 152, no. 30
  • Sir Geoffrey Keynes, William Blake's Illustrations to the Bible, Trianon Press for the William Blake Trust (New York, NY, 1957), p. 34, no. 122
  • Sir Geoffrey Keynes, Blake Studies, The Clarendon Press (Oxford, England, 1971), p. 156
  • David Bindman, William Blake 1757-1827, exh. cat., British Council (London, England, 1975), no. 113 and fig. 76
  • David Bindman, Blake as an Artist, Phaidon Press / E. P. Dutton (Oxford, England /New York, NY, 1977), p. 171
  • Martin Butlin, William Blake, exh. cat., Tate Britain (London, England, 1978), no. 214 and fig. 18
  • Martin Butlin, The Paintings and Drawings of William Blake, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT and London, England, 1981), no. 670, p. 484, repr. pl. 892
  • Raymond Lister, The Paintings of William Blake, Cambridge University Press (Cambridge, England, 1986), no. 50 and repr., color, opposite
  • Robert N. Essick, William Blake and the Language of Adam, The Clarendon Press (Oxford, England, 1989), repr. b/w plate 8, facing p. 23
  • Edgar Peters Bowron, European Paintings Before 1900 in the Fogg Art Museum: A Summary Catalogue including Paintings in the Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 1990), p. 98; repr. as no. 29
  • Morris Eaves, The Counter-Arts Conspiracy: Art and Industry in the Age of Blake, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY, 1992), repr. in b/w, fig. 4-13, p. 198; listed p. xi
  • Barbara Maria Stafford, Artful Science: Enlightenment, Entertainment,and the Eclipse of Visual Education, MIT Press (Cambridge, MA, 1994), repr. in b/w p. 207, fig. 145
  • Chikashi Kitazaki and Mina Oya, ed., Between Reality and Dreams: Nineteenth Century British and French Art from the Winthrop Collection of the Fogg Art Museum, exh. cat., National Museum of Western Art (Ueno, 2002), pp. 112-113, cat.#22, color repr.
  • Stephan Wolohojian, ed., A Private Passion: 19th-Century Paintings and Drawings from the Grenville L. Winthrop Collection, Harvard University, exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Yale University Press (U.S.) (New York, 2003), no. 144, pp. 338-340, repr. in color
  • Christopher Riopelle, Harvard's Winthrop Collection: Nineteenth-Century Paintings and Drawings from the Grenville L. Winthrop Collection, exh. cat., National Gallery Company Limited (London, 2003), p. 14, cat. 1, ill.
  • Stephan Wolohojian, Ingres, Burne-Jones, Whistler, Renoir... La Collection Grenville L. Winthrop, exh. cat., Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon and Réunion des Musées Nationaux (Paris, France, 2003), no. 144, pp. 350-351, repr. in color

Exhibition History

  • Exhibition of the Works of William Blake, Burlington Fine Arts Club, London, 01/01/1876 - 12/31/1876
  • Exhibition of Books, Water Colors, Engravings, Etc. by William Blake, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, 02/07/1891 - 03/15/1891
  • Blake Room, Tate Britain, London, 01/01/1927 - 12/31/1928
  • Between Reality and Dreams: Nineteenth Century British and French Art from the Winthrop Collection of the Fogg Art Museum, National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 09/14/2002 - 12/08/2002
  • A Private Passion: 19th-Century Paintings and Drawings from the Grenville L. Winthrop Collection, Harvard University, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, Lyon, 03/15/2003 - 05/26/2003; National Gallery, London, 06/25/2003 - 09/14/2003; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 10/23/2003 - 01/25/2004
  • For Students of Art and Lovers of Beauty: Highlights from the Collection of Grenville L. Winthrop, Harvard University Art Museums, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/16/2004
  • Looking Back: The Western Tradition in Retrospect, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 01/20/2018 - 05/06/2018

Verification Level

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at