This plate was once part of the Large Book of Designs which Blake printed in 1796 for the miniature painter Ozias Humphrey. The design possibly dates back to a pencil drawing of 1780 (Victoria and Albert Museum), the date inscribed on the plate for Albion Rose. Blake executed the same subject in about 1804 as a black and white etching and engraving, to which he added the inscription 'Albion rose from where he labourd at the Mill with Slaves / Giving himself for the Nations he danc'd the dance of Eternal Death'. The inscription recalls lines from Blake's illuminated book, Milton, a Poem, begun in 1803, and from Milton's own work, Samson Agonistes (1671).
The figure of Albion, a personification of humanity and of Britain, is freeing himself from the shackles of materialism.