Satan Smiting Job with Boils by William Blake
William Blake’s “Satan Smiting Job with Boils” is a later work from the great English author and painter, dating from approximately 1825. Blake portrays Satan, as he afflicts Job with boils, as a distinctly ambiguous figure. He is both beautiful and terrible as well as male and female. Indeed, many biblical scholars argue that Satan, as described in the book of Job, is actually an emissary of God himself, sent to test Job’s faith in God by first taking all his wordly possessions and then afflicting him with a series of physical calamities. Job’s faith remains unshaken despite these misfortunes. As the notion of Satan as an emissary of God has faded in contemporary thought, his depiction as subordinate to God's will, and somewhere between man and woman, have become much less prevalent. He is always shown as a man without any redeeming, much less beautiful characteristics.