Illustrations of the Book of Job.
8182. London: March 8, 1825 [i.e. London: John Linnell, 1874].
Large folio, title-page and 21 plates printed on India paper. Mounted on large sheets as issued, enclosed in a blue morocco box (slightly worn) lettered in gilt. Bookplate of Robert Pirie.
§ A very good set of the posthumous edition printed from the original plates (with the word “proof” removed) for Linnell by Holdgate Brothers. The India paper set is the best printing of these famous plates which comprise Blake’s major single achievement as a printmaker after the illuminated books. Illustrations of the Book of Job was Blake’s last completed prophetic book: the text, a series of biblical quotations, is above and below each image. “It was produced while Blake was still working on Jerusalem, his most obscure book; yet the illustrations are Blake’s most lucid; and they are the supreme example of his reading the Bible in its spiritual sense” (S. Foster Damon, A Blake Dictionary, p. 217). “The modest size of the central panels does not prevent them from ranking with the supreme masterpieces of graphic art” (Ray, Illustrator and the Book in England #8).Bentley, Blake Books, 421B. Bindman, Complete Graphic Works of Blake, 625–641C. Item #107206