William Blake depicts two angels fighting over a child. One theory is that the child represents humanity’s lost innocence, after the Fall of Man. In Blake’s mythology, evil is not quite as in traditional Christianity, and is often referred to as energy, with Blake once claiming that ‘Active Evil is better than Passive Good’. Here, the evil angel is chained to the floor by his ankle, restricting his energy and ability to reach the child.
Because of the size and condition of the original work, 60 x 80 cm is the largest size option we are able to offer.
The Good and Evil Angels
Original: Colour print, ink and watercolour on paper 44.5 x 59.4 cm Tate. Presented by W. Graham Robertson 1939
William Blake (1757 – 1827) was an English poet and artist. Blake trained as an engraver and had a career in etching, engraving and illustration. Although he exhibited his watercolours at the Royal 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. Although he received little public recognition in his lifetime, he has since been hailed as one of Britain’s greatest artists, and celebrated for his anti-slavery and pro-equality views.