• Old Master & 19th Century Pain auction at Christies

    Sale 2282

    Old Master & 19th Century Paintings, Drawings, & Watercolors

    27 January 2010, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 149

    William Blake (London 1757-1827)

    A visionary head: Portrait of King Edward III

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    William Blake (London 1757-1827)
    A visionary head: Portrait of King Edward III
    black chalk and pencil, watermark J GREEN 1819
    9½ x 8 in. (24 x 20.4 cm.)


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    The Visionary heads were executed circa 1819-1825 at the request of John Varley, O.W.S. (1778-1842). Blake appears to have humored the credulous Varley's belief in the appearance of the visions of historical figures to Blake. For a full description of 'The Visionary Heads' see M. Butlin, op. cit., pp. 495-531.

    Provenance

    John Linnell.
    Adam White.
    M.R. Cotes.
    With Horace G. Commin, Bournemouth, 1953, where acquired by
    John Frankenburg.
    Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, London, 15 July 1959, lot 51 (£35 to Schwartz) and sold to
    Dr. T.E. Hanley, by descent to his widow.
    Anonymous sale; Parke-Bernet, New York, 13 January 1970, lot 124 (to Philip Duschnes), from whom purchased by
    William W. Appleton, New York.


    Literature

    Probably 'Bits of biography: Blake, the vision seer, and Martin, the York minister incendiary', The Monthly Magazine, XV, 1833, pp. 244-245.
    Probably, W.M. Rossetti, 'Annotated catalogue of Blake's pictures and drawings' in A. Gilchrist, Life of William Blake, II, 1863, p. 243, list 2, no. 28; 1880, p. 261, list 2, no. 22.
    Probably, G.E. Bentley Jr., Blake Records, New Haven, 1969, pp. 298-299.
    M. Butlin, The Paintings and drawings of William Blake, New Haven, 1981, I, pp. 520-521, no. 736; II, pl. 948.