When the Almighty was yet with me, When my Children were about me


William Blake ( British, 1757 - 1827 )

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General Description

In his series The Book of Job, William Blake adopted the style of medieval illuminated manuscripts, evident in the decorative border filled with pointed arches and emblematic imagery. Here, Job and his wife stand at the bottom corners in a pastoral scene symbolic of their past innocence. On either side, Gothic decorations weave and stretch organically across the page, with peacocks of pride and the parrot of vain repetitions residing on architectural bands. At the top, a cathedral-like tympanum is carved with biblical text and “King Jehovah” written in Hebrew. Blake juxtaposes the image with his own biblical commentary, engaging the reader in the artist’s personal theological interpretation. The primary theme of this Old Testament subject focuses on God’s justice in the face of human suffering, demonstrated through the main character, Job. He is shown in the central panel surrounded by his family, directly imitating the throne of God above Job.

Excerpt from

Nicole Myers, DMA label copy, 2018.

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