BLAKE, William
(b. 1757, London, d. 1827, London)

The Descent of Christ

1804-20
Etching with pen, watercolour and gold, 219 x 159 mm
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven

This is Plate 35 of the illustrated poem Jerusalem.

In this early page of Jerusalem, the sleeping Albion is visited by Christ, who awakens his dormant desire for salvation. Though Albion is not yet conscious of Christ's sacrifice, its promise is foreshadowed by the new body that begins to emerge from his breast.