(England 1757 – 1827)
35.5 x 95.4 cm (platemark)
Although he worked as a reproductive engraver in his youth Blake was committed to the idea that engraving should not merely be regarded as a second rate medium serving only a reproductive role. He modelled his approach on the example of Dürer and the early northern engravers and deliberately attempted to emulate the hard linear qualities and archaic stiffness he saw in their work. The image shows Chaucer and the 29 pilgrims of ‘The Canterbury Tales’ in procession, riding out from the Tabard Inn in Southwark at the beginning of their journey to Canterbury.