Frontispiece to Europe: A Prophesy.Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester. (1970) There is also a copy in the British Museum : Relief etching with watercolor
23.3 x 16.8 cm (9 1/8 x 6 7/8 in.), London. Also see Anthony Blunt, "Blakes Ancient of Days: The Symbolism of the Compasses," Journal of the Warburg Institute, II (1938), 53 ff.
The Ancient of Days Measuring Time, 1794|
Watercolour, black ink and gold paint, over a relief etched outline painted in yellow.
9 1/4 x 6 5/8 [23.5 x 17.0]
The figure is derived from the work of 18th century artists such as Pellegrini Tiboldi ("Neptune" and "Christ in Glory") and the Christ figure in Michelangelos "Conversion of St. Paul" in the Pauline Chapel. Blake also made use of the compasses in The Book of Thel
Earlier use of compasses as a symbol for the act of creation can be found in medieval manuscripts and early Bibles. Also note Albrecht Dürers Melencolia, and Astronomer.