The William Blake Archive has recently added a series of thirty-three of Blake’s water colour illustrations to the Bible. This series, which comprises scenes from the New Testament, supplements the series of Old Testament paintings that were included on the site in March 2010.
Most of the illustrations were painted for Thomas Butts between 1800 and 1805, although two of them – The Whore of Babylon and The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins – date from 1809 and c. 1825 respectively.
This new series means that fifty-three of Blake’s biblical illustrations are now available on the Blake Archive. Blake painted over 135 such illustrations for Thomas Butts in tempera and watercolour between 1799 and 1805, the earlier illustrations apparently being in tempera on canvas or copper before he turned to watercolour. They include some of his most famous images, such as The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in the Sun and Jacob’s Dream.
The paintings are listed on the Blake Archive under Water Color Drawings Illustrating the Bible.