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Image of There were not found Women fair as the Daughters of Job

William Blake
English, 1757–1827

There were not found Women fair as the Daughters of Job

1825
From the Illustrations of the Book of Job, Plate 20

Object Type: Print
Creation Place: Northern Europe, English
Dimensions:
8 1/8 in. x 6 in. (20.64 cm x 15.24 cm)
Medium and Support: Engraving on paper
Accession Number: 1973.0015

Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Weil, Jr., in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Weil, Sr.


William Blake's illustrations to the Book of Job were produced at the end of his career, and formed a coda to his life and accomplishments as an artist. Blake identified with the elderly Job, a good and innocent man beset by trials, who achieves spiritual awareness and redemption at the end of his life.

The work is plate twenty, in the fourth and final state, depicting Job surrounded by three daughters in the central image, with a border composed primarily of vines and musical instruments. This central image was one of those extensively changed by Blake from earlier sources. In a number of sketches Blake experimented with the composition of the central image of Job and his daughers, varying the scene's setting. Originally, it was set outdoors as a pastoral scene with sheep and the sun appearing from behind clouds. Four other sketches of the scene also exist, each sharing the central motif of Job and his daughters, but differing in the treatment of the background and objects which are held by the daughters.

The scene is generally interpreted as one of reconciliation and is often also seen as Blake's own commentary on art.

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