Page:Life of William Blake, Pictor ignotus (Volume 1).djvu/336

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T. 55--68.] IIgIONS TO THE BOOK OF. JOB. 289

and in the soaring trumpets of plate 21, which might well be one of the rich conceptions of Luca della Robbia.

Nothing has yet been said of the borders of illustrative design and inscription which surround each subject in the Job. These are slight in manner, but always thoughtful and appropriate, and often very beautifu Where Satan obtains pewer over Job, we see a terrible serpent twined round tree-stems among winding fires, while angels weep, but may not quench them. Fungi spring under baleful dews, while Job prays that the night may be solitary, and the day perish wherein he was borm Trees stand and bow llke ghosts, with bristling hair of branches, round the spirit which passes before the face of Elpha Fine examples also are the prostrate rain-beaten tree in plate 13; and, in the next plate, the map of the days of creation. In plate 18 (the sacrifice and accepfnce of Job), Blake's palette and brushes are expressively introduced in the border, lyin as it were, on an altar-step beside the signature of his name. That which possesses the greatest charm is, perhaps, the border to plate 2. Here, at the base, are sheepfolds watched by shepherds up the sides is trellis, on whose lower rings birds sit upon their nests, while angels, on the higher ones,. worship round flame and cloud, till it arches at the s,mmlt into a sky full of the written words of God.

Such defects as exist in these designs are of the kid usual with Blake, but far less frequent than in his more wilful works; indeed, many among them are entirely free from any damaging pecfliities. Intensely muscular figures, who surprise us by a sort of line round the throat, wrists, and nkles, but show no other sign of being draped, are certainly to be sometimes found here as elsewhere, but not many of them. The lifted arms and peinting arms in plates 7 and 10 are pieces of mannerism in be regretful, the latter even Seeming a remi- niscence of Macbeth's Witehes by .Fuseli;' and a few oer slight instances might, perhaps, be cited. But, on the whole, these are designs no less wen and clearly considered, however highly imaginative, than u Digitized by GoogI