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Angel of the Divine Presence Bringing Eve to Adam (The Creation of Eve: "And She Shall be Called Woman) (recto); Sketch for the same (verso)

Artist:
William Blake (British, London 1757–1827 London)
Date:
ca. 1803
Medium:
Watercolor, pen and black ink over graphite
Dimensions:
Sheet: 16 3/8 × 13 1/16 in. (41.6 × 33.2 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1906
Accession Number:
06.1322.2
Not on view
Blake considered the Bible to be the supreme poetic work and here evocatively re-imagined the Old Testament theme of the creation of Eve. Instead of showing the first woman emerging from Adam’s side, Blake presents the couple meeting with ceremonial solemnity. A divine figure prepares to join their hands while a recumbent Adam looks up eagerly as his mate steps down from blue-tinged clouds. Objects in the landscape elaborate the meaning: the grape vines entwined around the tree symbolize marriage; the exotic red and blue plumed birds represent the newly created souls; and the giant oak leaf on which Adam reclines forecasts humankind’s suffering. A lion dozing near grazing lambs at lower right signals the peace of the pre-fallen world. Blake made this finished watercolor for his loyal patron Thomas Butts.
Signature: Signed with monogram at lower left in ink: "WB inv"
Thomas Butts (British, 1757–1845); Thomas Butts Jr., sold at the following; Sotheby's, London, March 26, 1852, lot 157; Richard Monckton Milnes (British, London 1809–1885 Vichy), bought at the preceding; Robert Offley Ashburton Crewe-Milnes, 1st Marquess of Crewe (British, 1858–1948), son of the preceding, sold 1906; Vendor: Carfax & Co. (London), through Roger Eliot Fry
British Museum, London. "The Apocalypse and the Shape of Things to Come," December 17, 1999–April 24, 2000.

Tate Britain, London. "William Blake," November 9, 2000–February 11, 2001.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "William Blake," March 29, 2001–June 24, 2001.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," April 10, 2006–July 9, 2006.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," January 9, 2012–March 25, 2012.

Butlin 1981.435
William Michael Rossetti "Annotated Catalogue of Blake's Pictures and Drawings." in Life of William Blake. Edited by Alexander Gilchrist, vol. 2, London, 1863, cat. no. 106, p. 223.

The Works of William Blake. Exh. cat. Burlington Fine Arts Club, London, 1876, cat. no. 55, p. 25.

William Michael Rossetti "Annotated Catalogue of Blake's Pictures and Drawings." in Life of WIlliam Blake. Edited by Alexander Gilchrist, vol. 2, 2nd enlarged ed. London, 1880, cat. no. 128, p. 235.

"Principal Accessions, February 20 to March 20, 1906 and Complete List of Accessions: Two drawings by William Blake." in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. 1, no. 5, April 1906, pp. 74-75.

Elizabeth Luther Cary The Art of William Blake. New York, 1907, pl. XII.

William Michael Rossetti, Walford Graham Robertson "Annotated Lists of Blake's Paintings, Drawings and Engravings." in The Life of William Blake. Life edited by Alexander Gilchrist, London, 1907, cat. no. 106, p. 443.

"Recent Accessions and Notes." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. vol. 6, no. 6, New York, June 1911, p. 139.

"A note on four water-colours by William Blake" International Studio. vol. 37, September 1921, p. xxxvii, illus. opp. p. 45.

Twenty-seven drawings by William Blake. Carl J. Smalley, Mcpherson, Kansas, 1925, illustrated (no plate number).

William Blake, 1757–1827: A Descriptive Catalogue of An Exhibition of the Works of William Blake Selected from Collections in the United States Ex. cat. Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1939, cat. no. 156.

Walter Mehring European Drawings from the Collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Portfolio of Collotype Reproductions [Vol. 1: Italian Drawings; Vol. 2: Flemish, Dutch, German, Spanish, French, and British drawings; Vol. 3: "New Series": Italian, Flemish, Dutch, German, Spanish, French, and British drawings]. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 3 vols., New York, 1942–44, cat. no. 63, vol. 2, ill.

Anne Carlisle English Drawings: XIX Century. Hyperion Press, New York, [1950], p. 79, ill.

C. H. Collins Baker, Robert R. Wark Catalogue of William Blake's Drawings and Paintings in the Huntington Library. 2nd rev. ed. (first pub. 1938). 1957, p. 22.

Geoffrey Keynes, George Goyder William Blake's Illustrations to the Bible. William Blake Trust, Clairvaux, 1957, cat. no. 6, p. 2, ill.

National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. The Art of William Blake. Ex. cat., October-December. 1957, cat. no. 34.

"Piloo Nanavutty, "She Shall be Called Woman." in The Divine Vision: Studies in the Poetry and Art of William Blake. Edited by Vivian de Sola Pinto, 1957, pp. 185-9, ill.

David Bindman "William Blake - an Exhibition and a Book" Burlington Magazine. vol. 120, no. 903, 1978, fig. no. 103, pp. 418-21.

Martin Butlin William Blake Ex. cat., 9 March–21 May. Tate Gallery, 1978, cat. no. 159, ill.

Martin Butlin The Paintings and Drawings of William Blake. Yale University Press, 2 vols., New Haven, 1981, pl. 512, vol. II (recto reproduced), cat. no. 435, pp. 337-7.



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