University of Virginia Library

Plate 76

[Incised below figures in the picture:]
Albion Jesus

From posthumous copies we can see that the names "Albion" and "Jesus" below the figures in this full-page engraving are cut into the plate in about equal strength. But in some copies Blake, by selective inking, deleted the name "Jesus", in some both names. Both are clear in the British Museum copy. "Jesus" is deleted in the Rinder and Morgan copies but "Albion" is clear, being touched with white in the latter copy. Both names are hidden in the Harvard and Mellon copies.

Wicksteed (p. 220) explains: "The name ALBION appears in most prints . . . below the youthful figure who might otherwise be mistaken for LOS. The name JESUS is less necessary, but is also found in many copies." Compare, however, the deletion of allusions to Jesus in Plate 3. Wicksteed's "many" and the Census generalization (see next footnote) obscure the


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fact that "Jesus" is deleted in all copies made by Blake except the British Museum copy. (The posthumous should not count.)

The apples on the tree, four on each side, go through a different evolution: barely visible in the British Museum copy, and hidden in the Rinder and Harvard copies, they are retouched in white in the Morgan copy, in black and gold (and increased to six on the left side) in the Mellon.

It took careful inking, or retouching, to bring out these fine-line elements. All copies were printed from the same state of the plate.[28] (The nail heads are outlined in black in the Mellon copy, as they are not on Plate 51.) (In the Harvard copy the apples are outlined in black on black, with ambiguous effect: probably to cover white lines left after printing, but possibly to assert the apples' muted outlines.)