Work Information

Title: Illustrations to Dante's "Divine Comedy"
Origination: William Blake: inventor, delineator, colorist
Composition Date: 1824-27
Number of Objects: 102
Object Order: 1-102
Object Size: each approximately 37.0 x 52.5 cm. (horizontal format) or 52.5 x 37.0 cm. (vertical format)
Number of Leaves: 102
Leaf Size: each approximately 37.0 x 52.5 cm. (horizontal format) or 52.5 x 37.0 cm. (vertical format)
Medium: pen and ink and water colors over pencil
Note: Objects 27, 32, 71, 73, 86, and 93 are basically pencil drawings with, in some cases, pen and ink additions or very slight touches of color.
Support: laid paper
Watermark: WELGAR 1796 or a fleur-de-lis with WE
Note: Each leaf appears to be half of a sheet with the WELGAR watermark on one half and the fleur-de-lis countermark on the other half. The watermark or countermark cannot be seen on the water colors that are pasted down to a backing mat, but are very probably present.
Penned Numbers: All but objects 14, 22, 27, 44, 50, 57, 97, 98, 100, and 102 are inscribed with the number of the canto or cantos of Dante's poem illustrated by the design. Object 57 is inscribed "95."
Note: The sheets bear inscriptions on their versos, including two sets of numbers that would appear to be attempts to indicate the proper sequence of the designs. None of these verso inscriptions are by Blake.
Frame Lines: none
Binding: The designs may have been bound at one time, but are now disbound and dispersed.
Stab Holes: none

Provenance


Name: Ashmolean Museum (objects 89, 96, 100), Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery (objects 2, 10, 44, 68, 84, 95), British Museum (objects 21, 22, 27, 40, 47, 51, 53, 71, 75, 85, 90, 93, 99), Fogg Art Museum, President and Fellows of Harvard College (objects 6, 7, 11, 17, 18, 23, 24, 28, 31, 32, 34, 35, 43, 45, 55, 57, 64, 67, 69, 70, 73, 80, 86), National Gallery of Victoria (objects 1, 5, 9, 13, 15, 16, 19, 20, 26, 29, 30, 33, 37-39, 41, 49, 52, 54, 58-60, 62, 65, 66, 72, 77-79, 87, 88, 92, 94, 97, 98, 102), The Royal Institution of Cornwall (object 82), Tate Collection (objects 3, 4, 8, 12, 14, 25, 36, 42, 46, 48, 50, 56, 61, 63, 74, 76, 81, 83, 91, 101).
Date: 1918
Dealer: Alec Martin of Christie's
Price: £7665
Note: Acquired directly from Blake by John Linnell, who commissioned the designs; sold from Linnell's estate, Christie's, 15 March 1918, lot 148 (£7665 to Alec Martin acting for the National Art-Collections Fund, which divided the designs by prior arrangement amongst the seven institutions now owning the Dante water colors).

Present Location


Ashmolean Museum
Beaumont Square
Beaumont Street
Oxford OX1 2PH
United Kingdom
Telephone: 0186-527-8000
Fax: 0186-527-8018
Email address: publications@ashmus.ox.ac.uk
URL: http://www.ashmol.ox.ac.uk/
Department: Drawings and Prints
Collection: Ashmolean Museum
Accession Number(s): WA1918.3 (object 89), WA1918.5 (object 96), WA1918.4 (object 100)

Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery
Chamberlain Square
Birmingham, B3 3DH
United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 (0)121-303-2834
Fax: +44 (0)121-303-1394
URL: http://www.bmag.org.uk/
Department: Drawings and Prints
Collection: Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery
Accession Number(s): 1919P1 (object 2), 1919P2 (object 10), 1919P3 (object 44), 1919P4 (object 68), 1919P5 (object 84), 1919P6 (object 95)

British Museum
Great Russell Street
London WC1B 3DG
United Kingdom
Telephone: 44-2076-361555
URL: http://www.thebritishmuseum.ac.uk/
Department: Drawings and Prints
Collection: British Museum
Accession Number(s): 1918,0413.1 (object 21), 1918,1012.7(object 22), 1918,1012.12 (object 27), 1918,1012.8 (object 40), 1918,1012.9 (object 47), 1918,0413.2 (object 51), 1918,0413.3 (object 53), 1918,1012.10 (object 71), 1918,1012.6 (object 75), 1918,0413.4 (object 85), 1918,0413.5 (object 90), 1918,1012.11 (object 93), 1918,0413.6 (object 99)

Fogg Art Museum
Harvard University Art Museums
32 Quincy Street
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
United States
Telephone: 617-495-9400
Fax:
URL: http://www.artmuseums.harvard.edu/fogg/
Department: Drawings and Prints
Collection: Fogg Art Museum
Accession Number(s): 1943.445 (object 6), 1943.442 (object 7), 1943.440 (object 11), 1943.658 (object 17), 1943.439 (object 18), 1943.437 (object 23), 1943.444 (object 24), 1943.433 (object 28), 1943.447 (object 31), 1943.659 (object 32), 1943.436 (object 34), 1943.435 (object 35), 1943.446 (object 43), 1943.443 (object 45), 1943.432 (object 55), 1943.434 (object 57), 1943.431 (object 64), 1943.429 (object 67), 1943.430 (object 69), 1943.441 (object 70), 1943.660 (object 73), 1943.438 (object 80), 1943.661 (object 86)

National Gallery of Victoria
P.O. Box 7259
Melbourne, VIC 8004
Telephone: +61 3-9208-0222
Fax: +61 3-9208-0245
URL: http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/
Department: Drawings and Prints
Collection: National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Accession Number(s): 988.3 (object 1), 989.3 (object 5), 990.3 (object 9), 991.3 (object 13), 993.3 (object 15), 992.3 (object 16) 994.3 (object 19), 995.3 (object 20), 996.3 (object 26), 997.3 (object 29), 998.3 (object 30), 999.3 (object 33), 1001.3 (object 37), 1002.3 (object 38), 1000.3 (object 39), 1003.3 (object 41), 1004.3 (object 49), 1005.3 (object 52), 1006.3 (object 54), 1007.3 (object 58), 1008.3 (object 59), 1009.3 (object 60), 1010.3 (object 62), 1011.3 (object 65), 1012.3 (object 66), 1013.3 (object 72), 1014.3 (object 77), 1015.3 (object 78), 1016.3 (object 79), 1017.3 (object 87), 1018.3 (object 88), 1019.3 (object 92), 1020.3 (object 94), 1021.3 (object 97), 1022.3 (object 98), 1023.3 (object 102)

Royal Institution of Cornwall
Royal Cornwall Museum
Photographic Librarian
Courtney Library & Cornish History Research Centre
Photographic Collection
River Street
Truro TR1 2SJ
Cornwall
United Kingdom
Telephone: 0187-227-2205
Fax: 0187-224-0514
Email address: photos@royalcornwallmuseum.org.uk
URL: http://www.royalcornwallmuseum.org.uk
Department: Drawings and Prints
Collection: Royal Institution of Cornwall
Accession Number(s): TRURI:1000.36 (object 82)

Tate Collection
Millbank
London SW1P 4RG
United Kingdom
telephone: 020-7887-8000
fax: 020-7887-8900
email: robin.hamlyn@tate.org.uk
URL: www.tate.org.uk
Department: Drawings and Prints
Collection: Tate Collection
Accession Number(s): N03351 (object 3), N03352 (object 4), N03353 (object 8), N03354 (object 12), N03355 (object 14), N03356 (object 25), N03357 (object 36), N03358 (object 42), N03359 (object 46), N03360 (object 48), N03364 (object 50), N03361 (object 56), N03362 (object 61), N03363 (object 63), N03365 (object 74), N03366 (object 76), N03367 (object 81), N03368 (object 83), N03369 (object 91), N03370 (object 101)