William Blake 1757 – 1827

Nebuchadnezzar

copper-plate (45 × 62 cm) — 1795 Museum Tate Britain, London

William Blake biography

This work is linked to Daniel 4:33

Tags: Daniel

Rate this work of art:

  [57 votes]

This is a copper engraving coloured with pen, ink and water colour.

In the 1790s William Blake made a series of prints on oppression. One of them was about the great Babylonian ruler Nebuchadnezzar.

Nebuchadnezzar had a dream he did not understand so he asked his jewish advisor Daniel to explain it. Summarized Daniel said he would be punished, and the punishment would end after seven years when he would acknowledge the supreme power in heaven.

Lo and behold: so it happened. Nebuchadnezzar became an outcast who was reduced to animal state. He ate grass, got claws like a bird, and his hair became like an eagle's feathers. After seven years he looked up to heaven and praised the almighty - and immediately he returned to his old human state.

Show page metadata