A comprehensive catalogue detailing the life and work of the artist William Blake, arranged chronologically and outlining the development of his influence and career from apprenticeship to his final years. Blake was a radical, challenging both perception and belief, he created words and images that had a luminous quality, strongly influenced by an intuitive inner vision, he valued imagination over reason and his work reflects this. Throughout the 1770s and 1780s Blake produced a substantial collection of drawings, engravings and engraved copper plates of monuments in Westminster Abbey while an apprentice to James Basire, the official engraver to the Society of Antiquaries. Following his apprenticeship he was accepted as a student in the Antique School of the Royal Academy, where he became an outspoken advocate for the work of Michaelangelo and Raphael. In the 1790s, his most inventive and prolific period, he developed a revolutionary method of etching his poetry and design together in relief on the same copper plate, that he called 'Illuminated Printing'.He used this to produce his most celebrated works, including the Songs of Innocence and of Experience, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, and Europe a Prophecy.
A centerpiece to this collection will be his Manuscript Notebook, in which he wrote the Songs of Experience, one of greatest treasures of the British Library. During his final years, Blake pursued an interest in the Renaissance artist-printmakers, Durer, van Leyden, Bonosone and others, and reawakened interest in the technique of pure line engraving. This led to commissions for Blake to produce illustrations for the Book of Job and Dante. Above all, it was the commission to produce the small woodcut illustrations to Virgil's Pastorals that would deeply affect and inspire the early work of the group of young artists and engravers known as the Ancients and this is a celebration of his influence upon their imagery, painting in tempera, and graphic techniques.
Publisher: Ashmolean Museum
Number of pages: 200
Weight: 1542 g
Dimensions: 300 x 240 x 23 mm