The Last Trumpet (recto); Two studies of a right eye, a profile of an open-mouthed young man, the head of an eagle, and the head of a lion (verso)
William Blake (British, London 1757–1827 London)
Pen and gummed carbon black ink and layered gray ink washes with graphite underdrawing; verso: black chalk
sheet: 8 1/16 x 8 3/8 in. (20.5 x 21.2 cm)
Fletcher and Van Day Truex Funds, 2011
Not on view
In this dynamic working drawing Blake, Britain's great early Romantic poet/artist, presents the resurrection of believing souls at the last day. The image echoes lines from Saint Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians (4:15–17): "For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first." Blake imaginatively combined all three divine agents. Initially he sketched the central trumpet-blowing figure from the side, then scraped the form away and redrew it. In its final conception the trumpeter’s thrusting instrument puts the viewer in the position of a rising soul. In the 1780s and 1790s Blake typically worked out ideas for multifigural compositions in monochrome drawings such as this, using a pen to define forms and brushed wash for the shadows.
Catherine Blake (British, 1762–1831), the artist's wife; passed at her death to the following; Frederick Tatham (British, 1805–1878), sold at the following; Sale, Sotheby's, London, April 29, 1872, part of lot 173; bought by the following; Francis Turner Palgrave (British, Great Yarmouth 1824–1897 London); John Pearson (London), offered in Catalogue 62, 1886 for £3.10; Sidney Style (British), sold anonymously at the following; Sale, Sotheby's, London, March 20–23, 1922, part of lot 1208 (£10 to Parsons); Iolo Aneurin Williams (British, 1890–1962); Sale, Sotheby's, London, July 4, 2002, lot 183; Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd. (London), in 2003 (bought at the preceding); Vendor: W.S Fine Art Ltd. / Andrew Wyld (London)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," January 9, 2012–March 25, 2012.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Paper Chase: Two Decades of Collecting Drawings and Prints," December 9, 2014–March 16, 2015.
Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd. Watercolours & Drawings: Agnew's 130th Annual Exhibition.. March 5–28, 2003, cat. no. 17, ill.
Susan Sloman Catalogue. W.S Fine Art Ltd. / Andrew Wyld, Summer 2008, cat. no. 10, ill.
Susan Sloman Catalogue. W.S Fine Art Ltd. / Andrew Wyld, 29 June-22 July, 2011, cat. no. 13, pp. 32-33, ill.