(c. 1795) is a colour print on paper, finished in ink
, by the English artist and poet William Blake
, one of the group known as the "Large Colour Prints". Along with his other works of this period, it was influenced by the Bible
, and Shakespeare
. The work is unusual, as it is a literal illustration of a double simile from Macbeth
, found in the lines:
:And pity, like a naked new-born babe,
:Striding the blast, or heaven's cherubim, hors'd
:Upon the sightless couriers of the air.
Like other members of the group it is a monotype
produced by printing from a matrix consisting of paint on gessoed millboard
, with each impression then finished by hand. By this unusual means Blake could obtain up to three impressions from a single painting. Three such impressions survive of Pity
. A fourth, in the British Museum
, was an early trial of the design from a different matrix, as it is smaller than the others. Read more...