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St. Matthew

St. Matthew

1799

William Blake

(British, 1757-1827)

Tempera on canvas

Overall: 38.5 x 26.5 cm (15 3/16 x 10 7/16 in.)

Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 2017.4

Description

The energy and awe with which the evangelist Saint Matthew responds to the angel presenting the divinely inspired text echoes William Blake’s attitude toward artistic inspiration. From childhood Blake experienced visions that are reflected in the otherworldliness of his work. While Blake was not embraced by the fine art establishment, a small group of patrons believed in his genius and commissioned works in which his unusual visions had free rein.

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