William Blake (British, 17571827)
Pen and black ink, tempera and glue size on canvas; 10 1/2 x 15 in. (26.7 x 38.1 cm)
Bequest of William Church Osborn, 1951 (51.30.1)
This scene (from Luke 1:513) shows Zacharias, high priest of the Synagogue, struck mute upon learning that his elderly, barren wife Elizabeth will give birth (to Saint John the Baptist). Against the dark background, which may have been inspired by prints by Rembrandt, the glittering menorah and luminous garments of the priest and angel appear to glow.