Job's Despair

William Blake, Job’s Despair, 1805. Pen and black ink, gray wash, and watercolor over traces of graphite on paper.

Blake did two sets of watercolors on Job. One in 1805 and another in 1821, before he completed his masterpiece: Illustrations of the Book of Job in 1826. The engraved Illustrations, a series of twenty-two prints, is considered to be Blake's greatest masterpiece in the medium of engraving and were also a rare commercial and critical success for Blake.

Blake had visions his entire life and painted the world he saw in his visions rather that this world. Many considered him mad. The poet Wordsworth thought that Blake was mad, but added significantly 'there is something in the madness of this man that interests me more than the sanity of Lord Byron and Sir Walter Scott'. 


William Blake, Job’s Despair. Pen and black ink, gray wash, and watercolor over traces of graphite on paper, 1805.

Evaluating its subject carefully, rigorously, and with minimal preconceptions. "Critical" religious scholarship contrasts with popular and sectarian studies.

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