Incorrect Username, Email, or Password
A woman in flowing robes carries a man in her arms as another figure looks on.

At center facing left, a pale woman in light flowing robes climbs a grassy hill that rises to the upper left corner.. Her left toe lightly touches the ground while her right leg trails in the air behind. In her arm she holds a sleeping man who clings to her waist. Another robed figure follows directly behind them, looking up at the woman. Behind the woman’s head is a full moon in a blue night sky dotted with stars. Small shrubs and plants fill the lower left corner.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
William Blake, British (London, England 1757 - 1827 London, England)
Lucia Carrying Dante in his Sleep (from Dante's "Divine Comedy")
Other Titles
Series/Book Title: Dante, "The Divine Comedy"
Work Type
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Watercolor, black ink, graphite, and black chalk on off-white antique laid paper
37.2 x 52.2 cm (14 5/8 x 20 9/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription: lower center, black ink: P.g Canto 9
  • watermark: fleur-de-lys on shield, crowned, with monogram WE (doubled in mirror-image) below
  • inscription: verso, along left edge, graphite: N 23 next at p 53
  • inscription: verso, upper left, along edge edge, graphite: 42
  • inscription: verso, upper left, graphite: Capaneus / Hell Canto 14


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 148]; to Alec Martin for the National Art-Collections Fund, London. Charles Ricketts and Charles Shannon, by 1927, sold [through Martin Birnbaum]; to Grenville Lindall Winthrop, New York, 1929, 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


The Harvard Art Museums encourage the use of images found on this website for personal, noncommercial use, including educational and scholarly purposes. To request a higher resolution file of this image, please submit an online request.

Publication History

  • Dante Alighieri and Henry Francis Cary, The Vision (3 vols.) or Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise of Dante Alighieri, Taylor and Hessey (London, 1819), vol. 2, pp. 78-80 ("Purgatory" 9/17-54)
  • Alexander Gilchrist, The Life of William Blake: Pictor Ignotus (3 vols.), Macmillan and Co. (London, Cambridge, 1863), vol. 2, pg. 221, no. 102(h)
  • William Blake, Illustrations to the Divine Comedy of Dante by William Blake, National Art-Collections Fund (London, 1922), no. 77, repr.
  • Laurence Binyon, The Drawings and Engravings of William Blake, The Studio, Ltd. (London, 1922), pg. 28, repr.
  • Agnes Mongan, "Drawings and Watercolours" [Winthrop collection], Bulletin of the Fogg Art Museum, Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, November 1943), vol. X, no. 2, pp. 53-57, repr. in b/w p. 57
  • Blake to Beardsley: A Century of English Illustrators, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1944), no. 20
  • Martin Birnbaum, Jacovleff and Other Artists, Paul A. Struck (New York, 1946), pl. 23
  • William Blake, Dante Alighieri, and Helen D. Willard, Blake's Illustrations for Dante, Harvard University Printing Office (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1953), repr.
  • Albert S. Roe, Blake's Illustrations to the Divine Comedy, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ, 1953), pp. 146-48, no. 77, repr.
  • 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
  • Anthony Blunt, The Art of William Blake, Columbia University Press (New York, 1959), pg. 91, repr.
  • Dorothy W. Gillerman, ed., Grenville L. Winthrop: Retrospective for a Collector, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, 1969), cat. no. 99, repr.
  • David Bindman, Blake as an Artist, Phaidon Press / E. P. Dutton (Oxford, England /New York, NY, 1977), pg. 218
  • Marjorie B. Cohn, Wash and Gouache: A Study of the Development of the Materials of Watercolor, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, 1977), pp. 16, 32 , 43, cat. no. 6 p. 90
  • Milton Klonsky, Blake's Dante: The Complete Illustrations to the Divine Comedy, Harmony Books (New York, 1980), pp. 104, 155, repr.
  • Martin Butlin, The Paintings and Drawings of William Blake, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT and London, England, 1981), no. 812.77
  • Corrado Gizzi, Blake e Dante, exh. cat., Mazzotta (Milan, 1983), pg. 158, no. 80, repr.
  • Anne Maheux, "An Analysis of the Watercolor Technique and Materials of William Blake", Blake: an Illustrated Quarterly (Spring 1984), 17, no. 4, pg. 128
  • Krzystof Z. Cieszkowski, "'They mumuring divide; while the wind sleeps beneath, and the numbers are counted in silence': the Dispersal of the Illustrations to Dante's 'Divine Comedy.'", Blake: An Illustrated Quarterly (Winter 1989-1990), 23, no. 3, pg. 170
  • Carol Schreier Rupprecht, "Dreams and Dismemberment: Transformation of the Female Body in Dante's Purgatorio", Quadrant (1992), vol. 25, no. 2, repr. p. 48
  • Charles H. Taylor and Patricia Finley, Images of the Journey in Dante's Divine Comedy, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT and London, England, 1997), p. 133, fig. 136 (color)
  • David Bindman, William Blake: The Divine Comedy/Die göttliche Komödie/La divine comédie, Bibliothèque de l'Image (Paris, 2000), pl. 80 (color)
  • 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), p. 58, fig. 13
  • 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. 151, 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. 151, repr.

Exhibition History

  • Exhibition of works by the old masters, and by deceased masters of the British school; including a collection of water colour drawings, &c., by William Blake, Frederick Calvert, Samuel Palmer, and Louisa, Marchioness of Waterford, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 01/01/1893 - 12/31/1893
  • Blake Centenary Exhibition, Burlington Fine Arts Club, London, 01/01/1927 - 12/31/1927
  • Blake to Beardsley: A Century of English Illustrators, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 06/01/1944 - 06/30/1944
  • Exhibition of Watercolors and Drawings by William Blake, 1757-1827, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 10/01/1947 - 11/30/1947
  • Grenville L. Winthrop: Retrospective for a Collector, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 01/23/1969 - 03/31/1969
  • Wash and Gouache: A Study of the Development of the Materials of Watercolor, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 05/12/1977 - 06/22/1977
  • Portrait, Prospect and Poetry: British Drawings from the Grenville L. Winthrop Bequest, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 09/11/1993 - 11/07/1993
  • 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

Related Works

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