The Judgement of Paris by William Blake

This watercolour depicts a triple-headed Discord flying off; Mercury floating on the air; Cupid exults as he handles his arrows; Paris, languidly seated, seems almost to shrink from the decision which he is in the act of making.

Details

Medium:
Watercolour
Dimensions:
38 x 46 cm
Acquired in:
1949

The three Goddesses, as well as the other figures, are splendid in form; and the whole design belongs to the highest order of Blake's work, both in spirit and in treatment. This watercolour is part of a collection of works by William Blake belonging to the late Graham Robertson and was included in his sale at Christie's in 1949. Graham Robertson, painter, author and theatrical designer, was widely known as a Blake collector. At his death in 1948 he bequeathed 4 Blakes to the Nation; the rest of the collection was to be disposed of by auction. He had, however, left a very considerable estate to be given to charities. This allowed his Executors to instruct the auctioneers that some of the drawings should be acquired for certain museums up to defined limits. In this way 20 works, totalling £40,281 were given by the Executors, through the Art Fund, to 6 public collections.

Venue details

British Museum Great Russell Street, LONDON London WC1B 3DG 020 7323 8299 www.britishmuseum.org

Entry details

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