- Museum number
- Series: Jerusalem: The Emanation of The Giant Albion
Copy A, plate 100: final full-plate illustration showing the building of Jerusalem; three giant figures - probably Los's spectre, Los and Enitharmon - with compasses, hammer, crescent moon; in the background, a stone circle with an additional serpentine structure (the "serpent temple"). 1804-1821
Relief etching with black ink and grey wash applied with a brush
- Production date
Height: 223 millimetres
Width: 147 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- For commentary on the series "Jerusalem: The Emanation of The Giant Albion" see 1847,0318.93.1.
Extract from Jill Cook's catalogue entry in S. O'Connell (ed.), "Britain Meets the World: 1714-1830" (Beijing, Palace Museum, 2007): The image of the stone circle at the centre of a snake is loosely based on a plate from William Stukeley's "Abury: A Temple of the British Druids" (1743). Here Stukeley suggests that the stone avenues which lead out of the great circle at Avebury depict the symbol of the snake and circle also found in ancient Persian, Egyptian, Hebrew and Chinese imagery as a representation of deity. Blake may have used the combination of deity symbol and ancient monument to signify non-materialist religion. The figure he places in the foreground holds a staff and pair of compasses used by builders to measure and make circles. The allusion is to the building of Jerusalem. This idea was inspired by Stukeley who believed that the druids were descendants of Abraham, the biblical founding father of Judaism, and that their presence showed Britain to be a chosen nation. From this distortion of historical half-truths and his own mysticism Blake conceived the passage of another epic poem Milton (1804) in which he imagines God and the building of Jerusalem in "England's green and pleasant land".
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2000-2001 Nov-Feb, London, Tate Britain, 'William Blake'
2001 Mar-Jun, NY, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 'William Blake'
2004-2005 July-Jan, London, Tate Britain, Art and National Identity
2007 Mar-June, Beijing, Palace Museum, Britain meets the World
2017 Apr-Sep, Salisbury, Salisbury Museum, Art & Archaeology: Artistic responses to the prehistoric landscape
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- For acquisition notes see 1847,0318.93.1.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number