Archive for the ‘William Blake’ Category

Works of Art can only be produc’d in Perfection where the Man is either in Affluence or is Above the Care of it.

May 8, 2010

William Blake

Adam & Eve 1825

William Blake (28 November 1757–12 August 1827) was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of both the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age. His prophetic poetry has been said to form “what is in proportion to its merits the least read body of poetry in the English language”. His visual artistry has led one contemporary art critic to proclaim him “far and away the greatest artist Britain has ever produced”. Although he lived in London his entire life except for three years spent in Felpham he produced a diverse and symbolically rich corpus, which embraced the imagination as “the body of God, “Human existence itself”.

Considered mad by contemporaries for his idiosyncratic views, Blake is held in high regard by later critics for his expressiveness and creativity, and for the philosophical and mystical undercurrents within his work. His paintings and poetry have been characterized as part of both the Romantic movement and “Pre-Romantic”, for its large appearance in the 18th century. Reverent of the Bible but hostile to the Church of England, Blake was influenced by the ideals and ambitions of the French and American revolutions, as well as by such thinkers as Jakob Böhme and Emanuel Swedenborg.

Despite these known influences, the singularity of Blake’s work makes him difficult to classify. The 19th century scholar William Rossetti characterised Blake as a “glorious luminary,” and as “a man not forestalled by predecessors, nor to be classed with contemporaries, nor to be replaced by known or readily surmisable successors.”

Historian Peter Marshall has classified Blake as one of the forerunners of modern anarchism, along with Blake’s contemporary William Godwin.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Blake

Better murder an infant in its cradle than nurse an unacted desire.

January 31, 2009

William Blake

The Ancient of Days 1794

 Blake, William (b. Nov. 28, 1757, London–d. Aug. 12, 1827, London)
English poet, painter, engraver; one of the earliest and greatest figures of Romanticism.
Blake was born on Nov. 28, 1757, in London. His father ran a hosiery shop. William, the third of five children, went to school only long enough to learn to read and write, and then he worked in the shop until he was 14. When he saw the boy’s talent for drawing, Blake’s father apprenticed him to an engraver.

At 25 Blake married Catherine Boucher. He taught her to read and write and to help him in his work. They had no children. They worked together to produce an edition of Blake’s poems and drawings, called Songs of Innocence. Blake engraved both words and pictures on copper printing plates. Catherine made the printing impressions, hand-colored the pictures, and bound the books. The books sold slowly, for a few shillings each. Today a single copy is worth many thousands of dollars.

Blake’s fame as an artist and engraver rests largely on a set of 21 copperplate etchings to illustrate the Book of Job in the Old Testament. However, he did much work for which other artists and engravers got the credit. Blake was a poor businessman, and he preferred to work on subjects of his own choice rather than on those that publishers assigned him.

 Blake died on Aug. 12, 1827.

http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/blake/

Art can never exist without naked beauty displayed.

November 28, 2008

Happy Birthday William Blake

William Blake (28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827) was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. During his lifetime, and for half a century afterwards, his work was largely disregarded or even derided as the work of a madman. Today Blake’s work is considered seminal in the history of both poetry and the visual arts of the Romantic Age. Blake’s prophetic poetry is often considered to be the writings of extraordinary originality and genius. Though he is now considered to have been a spiritual visionary of the Romantic age, his work has been said to form “what is in proportion to its merits the least read body of poetry in the English language”. His visual artistry has led one modern critic to proclaim him “far and away the greatest artist Britain has ever produced”. Born inside London, Blake spent the entire course of his life, save for three years, inside the city.His creative vision, however, engendered a diverse and symbolically rich corpus, which embraced ‘imagination’ as “the body of God”,or “Human existence itself”.

Considered mad for his idiosyncratic views by contemporaries, later criticism holds Blake in high regard for his expressiveness and creativity, as well as the philosophical and mystical undercurrents within his work. His paintings and poetry have been characterized as part of both the Romantic movement and “Pre-Romantic”, for its large appearance in the 18th century. Reverent of the Bible but hostile to the Church of England, Blake was influenced by the ideals and ambitions of the French and American revolutions, as well as by such thinkers as Jacob Boehme and Emanuel Swedenborg.

Despite these known influences, the singularity of Blake’s work make him difficult to classify. The 19th century scholar William Rossetti characterised Blake as a “glorious luminary,” and as “a man not forestalled by predecessors, nor to be classed with contemporaries, nor to be replaced by known or readily surmisable successor.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Blake