Job Rebuked by his Friends William Blake Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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The difficulties experienced by Job continue within this iteration which is known as Job Rebuked by his Friends. It was one of twenty one designs that he produced to illustrate The Book of Job, which itself was an old Hebrew Bible.

Within this composition we find three ageing figures pointing and starting and their friend, Job. Accusations have been made that he has lost his way and become too materialistic, losing touch with the purity of his earlier life. His wife looks on in sadness as he continues to suffer punishments that are intended to help him to re-find the right path. The Book of Job therefore warns us against become too wealthy and driven towards the wrong purpose, with consequences for those who lose their connection to God. Blake the artist had a similar belief system in this regard and was himself concerned about society in his own lifetime, as the Jewish Bible came many years before. The moral guidance was as appropriate as ever, in the eyes of the artist, and he would depict the life of Job many times across his career.

The content found within Job Rebuked by his Friends explains how Job himself is continuing to proclaim his innocence, whilst the actions of God to punish him is all the evidence that his friends and wife need of his guilt. They consequently rebuke him collectively. Blake was a highly gifted figurative artist who would also incorporate his own imagination and flair to produce some extraordinary artworks which took inspiration from various items of literature and then added a layer of his own innovation on top. He would become regarded as one of the greatest Britons of all time thanks to his equally impressive contributions to poetry as well, with the two disciplines sometimes joining forces within illustrated books of his own poems.

A print from this artwork can be found at the Tate collection. Most art prior to the 20th century is displayed at Tate Britain, with most modern art to be found at Tate Modern. The organisation has also launched a number of successful galleries outside of London in recent years in an attempt to allow more of the population to see part of their impressive collection of work. British artists are, naturally, best served here, but there is also a growing amount of work which covers other western artists. The overall displays achieve some of the highest numbers of visitors in the country and there remains a particular love for the Pre-Raphaelites, as well as the Romanticists such as Turner and Constable.