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A group of figures struggling amid a burning, crumbling stone structure

At center top, a demonic figure with bat-like wings and red skin crouches atop a stone pillar as it is toppling. He looks downward, casting flames from his outstretched hands onto the scene below him. At center below, an unclothed man balances on a staircase amid the ruins of a building, holding a small child on his shoulder with his left hand. At left, a group of women below him reach up to him, while at right other figures clutch at the steps. In the foreground a man has fallen at left, and a woman lies on the ground at left.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
1943.419
People
William Blake, British (London, England 1757 - 1827 London, England)
Title
Thy Sons and Daughters Were Eating and Drinking Wine (The Book of Job)
Other Titles
Series/Book Title: The Book of Job
Alternate Title: Job's Sons and Daughters Overwhelmed by Satan
Classification
Drawings
Work Type
drawing
Date
1821
Culture
British
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/297682

Physical Descriptions

Medium
Watercolor, black ink and graphite on off-white antique laid paper
Dimensions
29.2 × 22.4 cm (11 1/2 × 8 13/16 in.)

Provenance

Recorded Ownership History
Commissioned from the artist by John Linnell, 1821, sold through his sale [Christie's, London, March 15, 1918, as part of lot 149]; to Frank T. Sabin. Gabriel Wells, New York, by 1921, sold; to Grenville Lindall Winthrop, New York, 1922, bequest; to Fogg Art Museum, 1943

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop
Accession Year
1943
Object Number
1943.419
Division
European and American Art
Contact
am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu
Permissions

THIS WORK MAY NOT BE LENT BY THE TERMS OF ITS ACQUISITION TO THE HARVARD ART MUSEUMS.

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Publication History

  • Laurence Binyon and Sir Geoffrey Keynes, Illustrations of the Book of Job by William Blake (5 vols.), The Morgan Library & Museum (New York, 1935), vol. 1, pg. 24; vol. 3 whole series reproduced
  • Agnes Mongan, "The Fogg Art Museum's Collection of Drawings", Harvard Library Bulletin, Harvard University (Cambridge, 1958), vol. 3, no. 2, March, pp. 5-9, p. 202
  • G. E. Bentley, Blake Records, The Clarendon Press (Oxford, 1969), pp. 273-74
  • Bo Lindberg, William Blake's Illustrations to the Book of Job, Åbo akademi (Åbo, Finland, 1973), pg. 212, no. 3C
  • David Bindman, Blake as an Artist, Phaidon Press / E. P. Dutton (Oxford, England /New York, NY, 1977), pg. 208
  • Martin Butlin, The Paintings and Drawings of William Blake, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT and London, England, 1981), no. 551 (3), pl. 735
  • Anne Maheux, "An Analysis of the Watercolor Technique and Materials of William Blake", Blake: an Illustrated Quarterly (Spring 1984), 17, no. 4, pg. 128, fig. 3
  • David Bindman, ed., William Blake's Illustrations to the Book of Job, The William Blake Trust (London, England, 1987), repr. fig. B on p. 3 of pl. 3: "The Fire of God is fallen from Heaven"
  • 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), cat. no. 146, repr. (color)
  • 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. 146, repr.
  • Robert Dupin, "La Collection Winthrop", Universalia, Encyclopaedia Universalis (Paris, France, 2004), pp. 343-344, p. 344

Exhibition History

  • Exhibition of the Works of William Blake, Burlington Fine Arts Club, London, 01/01/1876 - 12/31/1876
  • Exhibition of Watercolors and Drawings by William Blake, 1757-1827, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 10/01/1947 - 11/30/1947
  • 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

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