Object Image

God Judging Adam

A nude and aged Adam, newly aware of his own nakedness and mortality, hangs his head before a fiery chariot bearing the divine maker whom he resembles exactly. For many years, this image was thought to represent Elijah in the fiery chariot. Recently, it has been connected to a passage in Genesis 3:17-19 in which God condemns Adam for tasting the forbidden fruit. The print was made using a unique method of Blake's invention. A plate etched in relief was used to print the design; then colors were painted onto millboard, or a similar surface, and printed onto the sheet like a monotype. Finally, Blake enhanced the print by hand with watercolor and ink.

Credit: Rogers Fund, 1916...

c. 1795
Relief etching, printed in color and finished with pen and ink and watercolor
42.5 x 52.7cm
Image and text © Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2019

Where you'll find this

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Permanent collection