The Virgin and Child in Egypt

Tempera Painting
1810 (painted)
The Virgin and Child in Egypt thumbnail 1
The Virgin and Child in Egypt thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Paintings, Room 82, The Edwin and Susan Davies Galleries
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This is one of four similar paintings that Blake made for his faithful patron Thomas Butts. The others depict Adam, Eve and Christ. As a group, they show the fall and redemption of mankind. Here Blake depicted the Virgin Mary and Jesus in an Egypt of the artist's imagination, under the palm tree where they are said to have sheltered. The Pyramids are in the distance, and the Nile and walls of Cairo in the background.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
tempera on canvas
Brief Description
Tempera painting entitled 'The Virgin and Child in Egypt' by William Blake. Great Britain, 1810.
Physical Description
Portrait format painting depicting a child on it's mother's lap, with the child looking directly a the viewer and the mother looking down at the child.
Dimensions
  • Estimate height: 76.5cm
  • Estimate width: 63.5cm
  • Frame height: 375mm
  • Frame width: 485mm
  • Frame depth: 60mm
  • Frame height: 90cm
  • Frame width: 78cm
  • Frame depth: 6.5cm
Style
Marks and Inscriptions
'Fresco by Wm Blake 1810' (Signed and dated by the artist on the trunk of the palm tree)
Credit line
Given by Paul Mellon
Object history
Thomas Butts; Thomas Butts jnr.; SIr William Stirling Maxwell; General Archibald Stirling; Lt.-Col. William Stirling; Paul Mellon; Given to the V&A by Paul Mellon, 1953
Subjects depicted
Place Depicted
Summary
This is one of four similar paintings that Blake made for his faithful patron Thomas Butts. The others depict Adam, Eve and Christ. As a group, they show the fall and redemption of mankind. Here Blake depicted the Virgin Mary and Jesus in an Egypt of the artist's imagination, under the palm tree where they are said to have sheltered. The Pyramids are in the distance, and the Nile and walls of Cairo in the background.
Bibliographic References
  • Butlin, Martin. William Blake., London : Tate Gallery, 1978no. 214
  • W. M. Rossetti, "Annotated Catalogue" in A. Gilchrist Life of William Blake, 2 vols, 1863, II, p.230, no.185.
  • W. M. Rossetti, "Annotated Catalogue" in A. Gilchrist Life of William Blake, 2 vols, 1880 (enlarged edition), II, p.243, no.211.
  • G.keynes, William Blake's Illustrations to the Bible, 1957, p.30, no.97, repr
  • Butlin, M. "The Bicentenary of William Blake", Burlington Magazine c, 1958, pp.40, 43
  • A. S. Roe "The Thunder of Egypt", in A. H. Rosenfeld (ed.) William Blake: Essays for S. Foster Damon, 1969, p.182
  • Bindman, D., Blake as an Artist 1977, p.171, repr. pl.128
  • M. D. Paley, William Blake, 1978, p.56, repr. pl.78
  • Butlin, M., The Paintings and Drawings of William Blake, I, pp.483-4, cat. no. 669, repr. pl.962.
  • Bindman, D, William Blake: His Art and Times, 1982, p.134, fig.30.
  • Evans, Mark et al. Vikutoria & Arubāto Bijutsukan-zō : eikoku romanshugi kaigaten = The Romantic tradition in British painting, 1800-1950 : masterpieces from the Victoria and Albert Museum. Japan : Brain Trust, 2002
  • Victoria and Albert Museum Department of Prints and Drawings and Department of Paintings Accessions 1953 London: HMSO, 1963
  • Exhibition of the works of William Blake, London : Burlington Fine Arts Club, 1876128
  • Catalogue of loan collection of pictures by French and British artists of the 18th century, Glasgow : The Museum, 1902123
  • A catalogue of frescoes, prints, & drawings by William Blake, London : Carfax & Co., Ltd., 1906no.5
  • Keynes, Geoffrey, The Tempera Paintings of William Blake : a critical catalogue, London : Arts Council of Great Britain, 1951no.24
  • Russell, Archibald G.B., Catalogue : Blake centenary exhibition, London : Privately printed for the Burlington Fine Arts Club, 1927no.15
  • La Peinture Romantique Anglaise et les Préraphaélites, Paris : Petit Palais, 19728
  • Masterpieces of Paintings from the Victoria and Albert Museum, Tokyo : Catalogue Committee, 1990no. 35
Collection
Accession Number
P.25-1953

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record createdMay 13, 2003
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