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

Christ as the Redeemer of Man

Pen and watercolour, 496 x 393 mm
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Blake's visionary drawing style is demonstrated in this illustration to Milton's Paradise Lost, III. Christ floats in the air before God the Father, the position of his body referring to his death on the cross. The expressive, outsized hands of his father touch him lightly. Four angels accompany Christ on his way to EEarth. The unremitting movement contains tension. Even in terms of colour the divine realm is divided from the void, in which Satan, armed with a spear, attempts to prevent God's plan of redemption for the world. The scene is characterized by symmetry and repetition, and is not only illuminated by the artist's technique, but is also enlightened spiritually.