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Blake in the Marketplace, 2019

Robert N. Essick

The 2019 market began propitiously with the discovery, and offer for sale by the London dealer Peter Harrington, of a previously unrecorded copy of Edward Young’s Night Thoughts with Blake’s engravings hand colored. This January surprise was followed in the next month by the Art Institute of Chicago’s acquisition of Blake’s The Day of Judgment, a watercolor illustration to Robert Blair’s The Grave. Many copies of Blake’s Job engravings appeared throughout 2019 and one notable rarity among his commercial book illustrations, Elizabeth Blower’s Maria: A Novel, came to auction in December. A receipt written by Thomas Butts and signed by Blake fetched a high price at a Parisian auction.

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