Angel of the Revelation (Book of Revelation, chapter 10)
William Blake (British, London 1757–1827 London)
Watercolor, pen and black ink, over traces of graphite
Sheet: 15 7/16 × 10 1/4 in. (39.2 × 26 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1914
Not on view
This work comes from a series of eighty biblical watercolors that Blake made for Thomas Butts, an important patron. He found the subject in chapter 10 of the book of Revelation and describes both the author and his vision. A diminutive Saint John, pen in hand, on the island of Patmos, gazes at a "mighty angel . . . clothed with a cloud . . . a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire." The artist based the angel's water-spanning stance on prints of the ancient Colossus of Rhodes and envisioned the seven thunders described in the text as horsemen riding through clouds.
"And the Angel Which I Saw Lifted Up his Hand to Heaven"
Inscription: Signed with monogram at lower right: "WB inv"
Thomas Butts (British); Benjamin Godfrey Windus (British); Thomas Butts Jr. (British); Sotheby's, London (British), March 26, 1852, lot 154; Henry George Bohn (British), bought at the preceding; Benjamin Godfrey Windus (British), to the following; Mrs. J. K de Putron, daughter of the preceding, by 1863, sold at the following; Anonymous seller, Christie's, London, March 16, 1912, lot 5, bought by Sabin; Frank T. Sabin (British); Vendor: Frank T. Sabin (British)
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