Christ refusing the banquet, from Paradise Regain’d The Romantic English poet and artist William Blake illustrated Christ’s asceticism and self- denial in this watercolour, one of a series inspired by John Milton’s 1671 poem Paradise Regain’d. Despite the temptations of a lavish feast and the urgings of scantily-clad and naked women, Christ turns away from Satan’s table and rejects its seductive offerings. Choosing what to eat and with whom could also symbolise choosing spiritual truth over the pleasures of the physical world.
William Blake (1757–1827)
London, England, c.1816 –18
Pen and ink, watercolour and black chalk on paper
Thomas Henry Riches Bequest, 1950 (PD.18-1950)