MutualArt.com Epitome of James Hervey’s ‘Meditations among the Tombs’Date c.1820–5
For his friend Thomas Butts, Blake painted a picture which is similar to his pictures of the Last Judgment in that he includes numerous figures to represent a vision of history from Adam to the Apocalypse. This watercolor is named The Epitome of Hervey's Meditations among the Tombs and derived from James Hervey's book. This image provides a useful guide to identifying figures in other versions of the creation, fall and return, because Blake put names on the individuals or states which they represent.
Inscriptions, (E 691) [On Blake's Epitome of Hervey's Meditations among the Tombs] [Reading from left to right, bottom to top] "Babe Widow Father Baptism. Hervey Angel of Death Virgin Wife Old Age Infancy Husband Angel of Providence Guardian Angel Child Angel of Death Mother Where is your Father The Lost Child Sophronia died in Childbed She died on the Wedding Day Orphan Moses Elias JESUS David Solomon Protecting Angel Aaron Abraham believed God These died for love Ministering Angels Mother of Leah & Rachel Mother of Rebecca Recording Angels Protecting Angel Orphans NOAH Enoch Cain Serpent Abel Eve Adam God out of Christ is a Consuming Fire MERCY WRATH"In Jerusalem Blake includes Hervey among five historical persons who guard the Gate of Los which leads to Beulah. Blake has named five of the 'gentle Souls' from history to look after those who descend to the Vegetated Earth to live in a mortal body.
Jerusalem, Plate 72, (E 227) "And the Four Gates of Los surround the Universe Within and Without; & whatever is visible in the Vegetable Earth, the same Is visible in the Mundane Shell; reversd in mountain & vale And a Son of Eden was set over each Daughter of Beulah to guard In Albions Tomb the wondrous Creation: & the Four-fold Gate Towards Beulah is to the South. Fenelon, Guion, Teresa, Whitefield & Hervey, guard that Gate; with all the gentle Souls Who guide the great Wine-press of Love; Four precious stones that Gate: Plate 73 Such are Cathedrons golden Halls: in the City of Golgonooza" Greater detail can be studied by linking to the image in the Tate Gallery.