Tuesday, January 31, 2012

QUEEN KATHARINE'S DREAM

Blake's picture titled Queen Katharine's Dream is an illustration to lines from William Shakespeare's play Henry VII. Blake choose to illustrate lines from the play which echo his own feelings. As Katharine of Aragon the first wife of Henry lies on her deathbed she reports a dream which she had of the glorious world which awaited her.

Henry VIII , Scene IV
"KATHARINE
No? Saw you not, even now, a blessed troop
Invite me to a banquet; whose bright faces
Cast thousand beams upon me, like the sun?
They promised me eternal happiness;
And brought me garlands, Griffith, which I feel
I am not worthy yet to wear: I shall, assuredly.
GRIFFITH
I am most joyful, madam, such good dreams
Possess your fancy."

Blake painted illustrations for this scene at least three times. A earliest image of the scene resides in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge and is dated between 1783 and 1790. Look for motifs from Visions of the Daughters of Albion, Blake's lithograph of Enoch, and Plate 33 (37) of Jerusalem in this painting. Shown here are the later images.

British Museum, London (dated 1809)...................
National Gallery, Washington (dated 1825)

















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