This image is taken from Shakespeare's Macbeth: ‘pity, like a naked newborn babe / Striding the blast, or heaven’s cherubim horsed / Upon the sightless couriers of the air’. Blake's literary subject illustrates spiritual horses and figures above a woman lying down.
42.5 x 53.9 cm
Colourprint and watercolour
Date of work
English painter and poet of mystical themes conveyed in complex figurative imagery. Blake trained as an engraver and had a career in etching, engraving and illustration. Although he exhibited his watercolours at the Academy from 1780 he railed against academic art, insisting instead on individual inspiration. His own style was influenced by Gothic sculpture and Michelangelo’s figures. In the 1820s Blake was commissioned to illustrate Dante’s Divine Comedy. By his death he had received little public recognition but his rediscovery in 19th century was due to the Pre-Raphaelites, especially Rossetti.