William Blake, Pestilence: Death of The First Born

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Date: c. 1805
Technique: Pen and watercolour over pencil on paper, 304 x 342 mm

This is a Biblical allegory derived from Exodus, Chapter 12. The gigantic figure of Pestilence strides over Egypt, spreading the contagion that will claim the lives of all the firstborn. To the left and right, his victims are in despair. Beneath his feet, a woman mourns her dead child. The angel standing in the doorway presumably embodies Moses’ promise of protection to the Jews who marked their doorframes with the blood of the lamb.



  1. is it the blue figure the angel of death or.. death itself and the angel is in the central door way


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