BLAKE, WILLIAM (1757-1827, poet and artist) PORTRAIT BY LUIGI SCHIAVONETTI (1765-1810) AFTER THOMAS
Lot 13
BLAKE, WILLIAM (1757-1827, poet and artist) PORTRAIT BY LUIGI SCHIAVONETTI (1765-1810) AFTER THOMAS PHILLIPS R.A. (1770-1845),
Sold for £384 (US$ 636) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
BLAKE, WILLIAM (1757-1827, poet and artist)
PORTRAIT BY LUIGI SCHIAVONETTI (1765-1810) AFTER THOMAS PHILLIPS R.A. (1770-1845),
proof-state engraving, three-quarter length, used as the frontispiece for Blake's poem The Grave (1808), published by R.H. Cromek, 1 May 1808, 13¾ x 10 in (34.9 x 25.4 cm).

Footnotes

  • EXHIBITED: Cheltenham Literary Festival, Faces and Places, 1982.

    The circumstances of Blake sitting for this portrait by Phillips are recorded by Allan Cunningham, The Cabinet of Pictures, 1833, I. pp. 11-13. To 'obtain the most unaffected attitude, and the most poetic expression', Phillips engaged Blake in a discussion of the sublime in Art. Blake claimed that the arch-angel Gabriel had informed him that Michaelangelo had not been over-rated and indeed had himself been painted by him. Furthermore to prove to Blake that he was not an evil angel Gabriel had opened the roof of Blake's study, ascended into heaven and moved the universe. 'The painter marvelled much at this wild story; but he caught from Blake's looks, as he related it, that rapt poetic expression which has rendered his portrait one of the finest of the English school.'

    Schiavonetti had been a fellow pupil of Blake under Bartolozzi. On the original backing board was written: '1[st] State. This proof was given by the engraver to its late possessor' - now re-attached.
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