The ever-increasing fascination excited by William Blake was shown on
Friday week at Christie's, where the collection of his drawings, purchased from the artist by John Linnell the elder, and since preserved in the Linnell family, was sold for over £22,000. The most remarkable of these, a. series of seventy-two designs in water-colour and pencil illustrating Dante's Divine Comedy, was acquired, we are glad to say, for the National Gallery, the British Museum, the Melbourne Art Gallery, and several English provincial galleries acting in co-operation, at the price of 7,300 guineas. The designs show, of course, Blake's technical limitations, but they are, for all that, the most impressive illustrations of Dante that any artist has ever made. The reason is, we think, that the English poet-painter, who lived half his time in a visionary world, saw nothing strange or grotesque in the visions of the Florentine poet, and drew them quite simply and naturally, just as he drew his own imaginings.