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The Lawn with the Kings and Angels   1824-27
pen, ink and watercolour over pencil (NGV 31)
Felton Bequest, 1920
National Gallery of Victoria

Purgatorio VII, 64-90 and VIII, 22-48 and 94-108. The poets are now accompanied by Virgil's fellow Mantuan, the poet Sordello and have come to a lawn scooped out from the mountainside. Here they see a group of Negligent Rulers singing sacred songs. Two angels appear with blunted, flaming swords to guard the kings from a serpent. Dante describes the richly coloured grass and flowers, but Blake shows the kings in a grove of trees, the symbol of error.

(c)1999 National Gallery of Victoria