The Penance of Jane Shore in St Paul's Church by William Blake

Jane Shore, a barefoot maiden with flaxen, curly hair, is in the centre, wrapped in a sheet and carrying a taper in her left hand.

Details

Medium:
Varnished watercolour
Dimensions:
28 x 23 cm
Acquired in:
1949
Bequeathed by:
Executors of W. Graham Robertson through The Art Fund

She is surrounded by guards and there is a group of three spectators to the right. 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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