An Extra Illustration to Pilgrim’s Progress
I am sure that the picture referred to as “A Warrior with Angels” in Robert Essick’s Finding List, Blake Newsletter, 5 (Summer-Fall 1971), 141, figure 9, is an extra watercolour from the series of illustrations to Bunyan in the Frick museum. The dimensions and watermark tally, as does the style if one disallows Mrs. Blake’s work on the Frick watercolours. The subject of the Rosenwald design, which retains all its original Blake freshness, is “Christian descends the hill from the Pilgrim’s House” (Sir Geoffrey Keynes has suggested the title “Christian with the Shield of Faith”). An additional support for this identification is the number “20” inscribed in the upper right-hand corner of the sheet; this corresponds with similar numbers on the Frick drawings and places the subject of the design in its correct sequence. Incidentally, the inscriptions on the Frick drawings raise additional complications in that they do not seem to be by Blake and are not begin page 214 | always accurate, for instance that inscribed “12 In the Interpreter’s House,” but this is another problem. The Rosenwald watercolour comes from an album formed by Mrs. Charles Aders in the 1820s and presumably became separated from the main series before they entered the Butts collection some time after Blake’s death.