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God Writing upon the Tables of the Covenant

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God Writing upon the Tables of the Covenant About 1805

Not on display

Flames and trumpeting angels frame the statuesque figure of God who is seen from behind. Towering over the kneeling Moses, God raises his arms and prepares to inscribe the Ten Commandments on the stone tablets before him. The subject was inspired by an episode in the Old Testament Book of Deuteronomy. This is one of eighty watercolours of Biblical subjects Blake produced between 1800 and 1809. They were made for Thomas Butts, a military clerk, who shared his philosophies and whose son Blake taught to engrave.

Glossary Open


The printmaking technique in which an image is inscribed on a copper plate with a tool that cuts a groove in the surface. This groove holds the ink that creates the print when it is applied to paper. Also refers to the method of making an incision on a material such as glass.


A paint with colouring and binding agents diluted with water. It has a transparent quality and is usually applied to paper.

Engraving, Watercolour


  • Acc. No. D 2281
  • Medium Pen and ink and watercolour over pencil on paper
  • Size 41.90 x 34.20 cm
  • Credit William Findlay Watson Bequest 1881