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William Blake

2 of 10 portraits of William Blake

William Blake, replica by John Linnell, 1861 (1821) - NPG 2146 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

William Blake

replica by John Linnell
watercolour, 1861 (1821)
9 in. x 7 in. (229 mm x 178 mm)
Given by A.S. Bradby, 1927
Primary Collection
NPG 2146


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  • William Blake (1757-1827), Visionary poet and painter. Sitter in 10 portraits, Artist associated with 5 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • John Linnell (1792-1882), Painter. Artist associated with 68 portraits, Sitter in 8 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Linnell was introduced to William Blake in 1818. Despite the age difference - Linnell was 26 and Blake 61 - the artists found they had much in common, including their strong dissenting religious beliefs. Their artistic styles were very different, but they admired each other's work and often sketched together. Linnell supported Blake both financially and artistically, buying several works of art and commissioning engravings for the Book of Job and woodcut illustrations to Virgil's Eclogues.

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Current affairs

George IV is crowned at Westminster Abbey on 19 July and Queen Caroline is turned away from the ceremony. Two weeks later she dies reawakening popular sympathy for her cause. Riots break out at her funeral as the Government attempts to reroute the procession to avoid the popular reaction of the mob.

Art and science

Thomas De Quincey publishes Confessions of an English Opium Eater in the London Magazine. A creative commentary on his mental life, it gained instant notoriety. The Manchester Guardian (later The Guardian) established. Michael Faraday builds the first electric motor.

International

Napoleon dies. Revolts in Wallachia and Moldovia against the oppressive rule of the Ottoman Turks. The rebels appeal to Tsar Alexander I for help and the Greek War of Independence begins.

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