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Creator:
Print made by William Blake, 1757–1827, British
Title:

Jerusalem, Plate 35, "Then the Divine hand...."

Additional Title(s):

Plate 35: "Then the Divine Hand Found the Two Limits, Satan and Adam"

Part Of:

Collective Title: Jerusalem: The Emanation of The Giant Albion, Bentley Copy E

Date:
1804 to 1820
Medium:
Relief etching printed in orange with pen and black ink and watercolor on moderately thick, smooth, cream wove paper
Dimensions:
13 1/2 x 10 3/8 inches (34.3 x 26.4 cm) and 8 7/8 x 6 1/2 inches (22.5 x 16.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
B1992.8.1(35)
Classification:
Prints
Collection:
Prints and Drawings
Subject Terms:
divine | fire | flames | hand | Jerusalem | literary theme | men | nudes | religious and mythological subject | text | women
Associated People:
Satan
Access:
View by request in the Study Room [Request]
Note: The Study Room is open by appointment. Please visit the Study Room page on our website for more details.
Link:
https://collections.britishart.yale.edu/catalog/tms:3465
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In April 1827, a few months before his death, Blake wrote to his friend George Cumberland: "The last work I produced is a Poem entitled Jerusalem the Emanation of the Giant Albion. . . . One I have finished. It contains 100 plates but it is not likely that I shall get a Customer for it." Jerusalem was the culmination of Blake's series of great prophetic books, and he had been at work on it from 1804 on, the date on the title page. Of the five known complete copies of the book, four are printed in black ink and uncolored; the copy to which Blake refers as "finished" is the Mellon copy, printed in red-orange ink and lavishly hand-colored in watercolor with touches of gold paint. At Blake's death, this deluxe copy passed to his widow, Catherine, from whom it was obtained by Frederick Tatham, who, in a twenty-four-page biographical sketch of Blake in manuscript that he attached to the copy, described it as containing "some of the most noble conceptions possible to the mind of man" (leaf 5v).
The poem, divided into four chapters, tells of the fall of man, represented by Albion, and his ultimate redemption. Of the three plates exhibited here, the first is the final image of the first chapter. It shows the fallen Albion being disemboweled. In a plate depicting the birth of Eve, the figure of the Creator and Savior (bearing the stigmata) hovers above. The third exhibited plate is the penultimate plate of the book, which ends the narrative in an image of the union of contraries in the form of Jehovah (or Christ taking on the patriarchal appearance of Jehovah) embracing an androgynous Jerusalem. Redemption is achieved through reconciliation.

Scott Wilcox
Baskett, John, Jules David Prown, Duncan Robinson, Brian Allen, and William Reese. Paul Mellon's Legacy: A Passion for British Art. New Haven : Yale Center for British Art , 2007, cat. no. 76.

An American's Passion for British Art - Paul Mellon's Legacy (Royal Academy of Arts, 2007-10-20 - 2008-01-27) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Paul Mellon's Legacy : A Passion for British Art (Yale Center for British Art, 2007-04-18 - 2007-07-29) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

An American's Passion for British Art - Paul Mellon's Legacy (Yale Center for British Art, 2007-04-18 - 2007-07-29) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

William Blake (Tate Britain, 2000-11-02 - 2001-02-04) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

William Blake (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000-03-26 - 2000-07-05) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

The Human Form Divine - William Blake from the Paul Mellon Collection (Yale Center for British Art, 1997-04-02 - 1997-07-06) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

William Blake - His Art & Times (Art Gallery of Ontario, 1982-12-03 - 1983-02-06) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

William Blake - His Art & Times (Yale Center for British Art, 1982-09-15 - 1982-11-14) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

John Baskett, Paul Mellon's Legacy: a Passion for British Art: Masterpieces from the Yale Center for British Art, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2007, pp. 276-77, no. 75, pl. 75, N5220 M552 P38 2007 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Denise Gigante, Life, organic form and Romanticism , Yale University Press, New Haven, 2009, between p. 114 and 115, p. 122, Pl. III. 6, PR575.L54 G54 2009 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Paul Mellon's Legacy, a passion for British art. [large print labels] , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2007, v. 2, N5220 M552 +P381 2007, Mellon Shelf (YCBA) [YCBA]


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