When the Morning Stars Sang Together William Blake Buy Art Prints Now
from Amazon

* As an Amazon Associate, and partner with Google Adsense and Ezoic, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
Email: [email protected] / Phone: +44 7429 011000

When the Morning Stars Sang Together is an art piece created by William Blake (1757 - 1827) two years before his death. William's introductory set of images for the Book of Job, which he created between 1805 and 1810 for his most notable benefactor, Thomas Butts, has this engraved plate as a part of the entire assemblage.

Other additions to this assembly include the two plates he added after 1821, plates 17 and 20, when he acquired the set to create replicas for John Linnell.

Item Description

This engraved plate forms part of Blake's twenty-one watercolour series of illustrations for the Book of Job. This series is among his uppermost accomplishments. This piece depicts God reinventing the creation of the world. There below is Job and his wife shown genuflecting. The scenario follows Job's plea to God to come and explain why he warranted the series of horrors that destroyed him. The morning stars being made reference to in the title are likely the angels singing in the background at the top of the art piece. However, there are real stars as well, visible amongst the angels. It is ambiguous what the artists' interpretation was meant to signify precisely.


In 1818, Blake met John Linnell, a youthful painter and engraving artist who introduced a group of young painters to Blake. This group became Blake's ardent followers. They dubbed themselves the Ancients, and they were instrumental in extending Blake's impact for future generations.

The Technique

This engraved plate is created with a method that indicates watercolour on graphite traces, with drawings in grey wash, black ink, and pen. The artwork has a stunning combination of blue colours, varied degrees of white and cream, with a subtle pink tinge.

The Illustration

This piece of art is an angelic illustration representing the deific presence and the submission of mortals. This is seen at the bottom of the plate. This is shown by the images of five people kneeling, in awe of the presence of the one they look above towards. On one side of the celestial being, the presence of radiance to illustrate what's good is observable. The yellow colour surrounding the creature tells this. Below are the visible heads of four stallions, likely suggestive of the four horses of the apocalypse, which represent famine, conquest, war, and death. On the other side of the celestial being, a hellish creature is seen, described by the dark colours and serpent-like animals at his feet. The divine existence acts as a barricade between the two and a protector of the mortals right below him.