The Canterbury Pilgrims

A work made of line engraving on cream laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of line engraving on cream laid paper.

Date:

1810

Artist:

William Blake
English, 1757-1827

About this artwork

Those with devout hearts set out on medieval pilgrimages, but these journeys could also be experienced in social fellowship. The visionary English artist William Blake’s enormous frieze contains all 29 of Geoffrey Chaucer’s boisterous Canterbury Tales pilgrims, as well as a portrait of the author himself. In Chaucer’s book, each character tells stories while passing time along the way from London to Canterbury Cathedral, a pilgrimage route that rivaled the Camino de Santiago in Spain. Blake devoted reams of paper to advertise this print, describing Chaucer’s Tales as “the physiognomy or elements of universal human life.”

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Prints and Drawings

Artist

William Blake

Title

The Canterbury Pilgrims

Origin

England

Date

1810

Medium

Line engraving on cream laid paper

Dimensions

295 × 920 (image); 300 × 925 mm (plate); 368 × 965 mm (sheet)

Credit Line

Gift of Dorothy Braude Edinburg to the Harry B. and Bessie K. Braude Memorial Collection

Reference Number

1991.613

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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