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Tempera painting - Eve Tempted by the Serpent
  • Eve Tempted by the Serpent
    Blake, William, born 1757 - died 1827
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Eve Tempted by the Serpent

  • Object:

    Tempera painting

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (probably, painted)

  • Date:

    1799-1800 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Blake, William, born 1757 - died 1827 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    tempera and gold on copper

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Paintings, Room 82, The Edwin and Susan Davies Galleries, case SOUTH WALL

Blake drew his inspiration for this scene from the book of Genesis in the Old Testament and from John Milton's epic poem 'Paradise Lost' (1667). Blake often experimented with painting techniques, and here the surface has flaked badly because of the poor adhesion between a glue-based paint and the copper support he used.

Physical description

Landscape format painting with the predominant colours being yellow and blue, depicting a naked woman with a serpent behind her

Place of Origin

Great Britain (probably, painted)


1799-1800 (painted)


Blake, William, born 1757 - died 1827 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

tempera and gold on copper

Marks and inscriptions

'WB inv'
Signed in monogram, lower left


Height: 27.3 cm estimate, Width: 38.5 cm estimate

Object history note

Purchased, 1953

Descriptive line

Tempera on copper entitled 'Eve Tempted by the Serpent' by William Blake. Great Britain, ca. 1799-1800.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Butlin, Martin. The paintings and drawings of William Blake. Published for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art by Yale University Press, New Haven; London, 1981, p. 318, cat. no. 379
W. M. Rossetti, "Annotated Catalogue" in A. Gilchrist Life of William Blake, 2 vols, 1863, II, p.223, no.107.
W. M. Rossetti, "Annotated Catalogue" in A. Gilchrist Life of William Blake, 2 vols, 1880 (enlarged edition), II, p.235, no.130.
G.keynes, William Blake's Illustrations to the Bible, 1957, p.2, no.10 repr.
Bindman, D., Blake as an Artist 1977, p.119,126, 128 repr. pl.99.
Victoria and Albert Museum Department of Prints and Drawings and Department of Paintings Accessions 1953 London: HMSO, 1963
Catalogue of loan collection of pictures by French and British artists of the 18th century, Glasgow : The Museum, 1902
A catalogue of frescoes, prints, & drawings by William Blake, London : Carfax & Co., Ltd., 1906


Tempera; Gold; Copper



Subjects depicted



Paintings; Christianity


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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