The Tree of Life

Method Copper engraving with hand colouring
Artist [Anonymous]
Published Printed for Bowles & Carver, Map & Printsellers, No69 in St.Paul's Church Yard, London. c. 1793
Dimensions Image 328 x 247 mm, Plate 355 x 250 mm, Sheet 378 x 290 mm
Notes A rare, separately published, eighteenth century allegorical and moral engraving. Inscription underneath the image: 'The Tree of Life which bear twelve manner of fruits and yielded her Fruit every Month and the Leaves of the Tree were for the healing of the Nations. Rev. Ch. XXII. ver, 2./ Likewise a View of the New Jerusalem & this present Evil World with the Industry of Gospel Ministers in endeavouring to pluck Sinners from the Wrath to come.' The printers address and the slight alteration to the devil figures (from BM Satires 4570) to the right suggest this is a slightly later 18th century or early 19th century printing.

Christ is crucified on a tree which roots read 'Omnipresent', 'Almighty', 'Wise', 'Just', 'Holy', 'Gracious' and 'Glorious', bears twelve enormous pieces of fruits such as 'Everlasting Love', 'Perseverance', 'Refuge' and 'Election' which are growing in-between leaves inscribed with negative as well as positive qualities such as 'Temptation', 'Poverty', 'Obedience' and 'Victory'. Above the tree, the three aspects of the Holy Trinity - 'Word', 'Father', 'Spirit' - are symbolised in three overlapping triangles with 'God' in the middle, surrounded by a halo and rays of light. Below Christ crucified on the tree, several preachers (two of which believed to be depictions of John Wesley and George Whitefield) are trying to warn a crowd of people of the consequences of their sins and direct them away from 'The Broad Way' which leads to the gates of hell indicated as a 'Bottomless Pit' and is guarded by three demons and 'Babylon the mother of harlots'. Instead they should go to the gated wall enclosing Jesus on the tree and 'New Jerusalem' behind him. 'New Jerusalem' refers to Ezekiel's prophecy in the Old Testament in which he describes a city built around a new Holy Temple in Jerusalem, where God's people can live eternally in their spirit form.

BM Satires 4571

Condition: Time toning and foxing to sheet, repaired wormholes to area above tree, repaired tear to right margin, printers crease to top left corner.
Framing unmounted
Price £750.00
Stock ID 48493