The Death of the Virgin by William Blake

The body of the Virgin lies on a dais with two angels kneeling at her head and at her feet.

Details

Medium:
Watercolour on paper
Dimensions:
37 x 37 cm
Acquired in:
1949
Bequeathed by:
Executors of W. Graham Robertson through The Art Fund

St John stands over her in prayer, and behind is a rainbow filled with winged heads of angels, as in the companion picture of 'The Death of St Joseph'. 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.

Provenance

From the collection of Graham Robertson.

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