Satan is displayed in heaven in the front of a huge sun that is encircled by Angels as a youthful, ideal leaping figure who is surrounded in the center by flames. On both sides of the torso of Satan are the heads of Job and his wife. Satan Before the Throne of God is one of the twenty-two engravings where Blake produced engravings of Illustrations of the Book of Job towards the end of his life. This drawing portrays Job as a man in prosperity. It describes the composition where there was a time when the Sons of God presented themselves before God and Satan was among them. Job's story is that of a good man that is tested purely to determine the relationship between the existence of God and the evil of suffering. According to Blake, the major flaw of Job lies in attending to the letter instead of God's law.
William Blake holds a special position in Western art's history. His creativity included literary and visual arts. He was regarded as an engraver, printmaker, innovative poet, and painter. Satan Before the Throne of God is a watercolor piece of art that is drawn with black ink and a pen over graphite traces. It was purchased in 1903 by Piermont Morgan and is located at The Morgan Library and Museum, New York.
Meaning of the Engraving
This scene is a depiction of Job 29:5 where it's written, "When the Almighty was yet with me, when my Children were about me". In that passage, God has given Satan permission to destroy the family of Job and take away all his wealth and property to test Job's faith. Although Job's relationship with God eventually endures, at some point Job laments about his lost happiness and questions God's wisdom. In terms of composition, the Illustrations of Job is one of William Blake's most complex and technical engravings that are rendered with an astonishing level of figurative and tonal detail.
From the onset of Blake's painting career, he has always collected Albrecht Durer's prints. The depictions of his engravings were influenced by Durer's pieces of art such as Rhinoceros.