Night Thoughts II Page 5

William Blake’s Night Thoughts II was a part of a series of poems by Edward Young published in the 1740s1. William Blake revived the poems again in 1797 with his illustrations1. Both of the images by Blake on the mural come from the Night Thoughts series. Night Thoughts II page 5 is an illustration of a naked angel flying downward with a trumpet towards a skeleton. This skeleton is shrouded for burial. 

In Sicner’s recreation, the image is the exact copy except for the orientation. On the mural, the image has been flipped horizontally so that the angel is located on the left. The angel and the skeleton frame Blake’s other work The Christian Triumph. In addition, the skeleton is perched on top of Dürer’s and Dalí’s crucifixions of Christ. 

Pictured: Left Sicner / Right Blake

There are two alternative versions of the same artwork by William Blake. Sicner often used different variations of images to fit together with the other images in the mural. Above is an alternate version of the same artwork by William Blake. Both are included side-by-side for comparison.

Pictured: Left Version II / Right Original

James Sicner discusses his process of using different versions of the same work of art. 

  1. “Illustrations to Edward Young’s “Night Thoughts” (composed C. (C. 1795-97)” The William Blake Archive. The William Blake Archive, 2020. (accessed July 9, 2020).