|Method||Copper engraving and etching|
|Artist||William Blake after Henry Fuseli|
|Published||London, Published Dec.r 1st. 1791 by J.Johnson, St.Pauls Church Yard.|
|Dimensions||Image 195 x 152 mm, Sheet 285 x 215 mm|
From the third edition of Erasmus Darwin's Botanic Garden, illustrating Canto 3, The Economy of Vegetation. The God Anubis with the head of a dog prays to the star Sirius for rain, his legs astride the river Nile. The winged figure of Jupiter Pluvius appears in the background between the legs of Anubis. The pyramids can be seen to the right of the figure. Blake directly copied his original drawing onto the plate resulting in the print being in reverse to his preparatory study.
William Blake (1757 - 1827) was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Blake trained and worked as a commercial engraver under the initial tutelage of James Basire. After his apprenticeship, Blake went on to become a student at the Royal Academy. In 1784, Blake set up in business as a print seller in partnership with James Parker. Later in 1788, at the age of 31, Blake began to experiment with relief etching, a method he would use to produce most of his books, paintings, pamphlets and poems. William Blake is regarded as one of the great geniuses in the history of art. He was largely ignored in his own lifetime, yet today is revered as a major reference point for British culture, appealing to a more universal audience than perhaps any other artist.
Henry Fuseli (1741-1825) was an Anglo-Swiss painter, draughtsman, writer and collector of Old Master prints. He was classicallly educated and held a particular interest for literature which often extended into the themes of his work. Fuseli was encouraged by Sir Joshua Reynolds to paint, but was never academically, nor technically trained. He settled in England in 1779, and became the Professor of Painting at the Royal Academy twenty years later.
He made several contributions to Boydell's Shakespeare Gallery and opened a gallery dedicated to Milton in 1799.
Russell 1912. 79a, Keynes 1921. 103, Esson & Essick 1972. XXI.
Condition: Some toning and foxing to the sheet edges.