Monday, May 06, 2013

Another Angel of the Divine Presence

This picture was definitely made for Thomas Butts, documented by  a letter to Butts dated July 6, 1803 (Letter 27 in Erdman  729) :
....... I have now on the Stocks the following Drawings for you 
1. Jephthah sacrificing his Daughter--
2. Ruth & her mother in   Law & Sister 
3. The three Maries at the Sepulcher. 
4. The Death  of Joseph.
 5. The Death of the Virgin Mary [5]
6 St Paul  Preaching. & [6]
7 The Angel of the Divine Presence clothing   Adam & Eve with Coats of Skins 
It illustrates Genesis 3:21:
3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

Blake had a lot to say about clothes:

The Lamb

Little Lamb who made thee 
         Dost thou know who made thee 
Gave thee life & bid thee feed. 
By the stream & o'er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing wooly bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice! 
         Little Lamb who made thee 
         Dost thou know who made thee 

         Little Lamb I'll tell thee,
         Little Lamb I'll tell thee!
He is called by thy name,
For he calls himself a Lamb: 
He is meek & he is mild, 
He became a little child: 
I a child & thou a lamb, 
We are called by his name.
         Little Lamb God bless thee. 
         Little Lamb God bless thee.

Blake thought that most clothing is not 'of delight', but more like the skins the Angel put on our original ancestors, a covering for our nakedness. If we don't live by the tenet of "good and evil", we don't need to clothe outselves to disguise who we really are.

Blake was found by a visitor once in his Garden with this wife, both naked, modelling for a picture he was painting. In general he painted innocent people naked and obviously sinful people trying to hide their sins with clothing.

1 comment:

Vincent said...

Thanks, Larry. I don’t know why, but I found this post exceptionally moving.