Trivium Art History
The Artists

William Blake1757 — 1827

Art is life, science is death

Art is life, science is death

William Blake had his first vision at age 10 — a tree full of angels. Artistically precocious, Blake spent his youth at Henry Pars's drawing school, copying the human figure from plaster casts of ancient statues. As a teenager, Blake was apprenticed with an engraver, and tasked with drawing the tombs and monuments at Westminster Abbey, a gothic experience that colored his world in metaphysical hues.

Blake lived his whole life at very the edge of the spiritual plane. His wife Catherine joined him in his search for visions, working by his side he founded a successful print shop, pioneered a new form of color printing, and built a new religion for himself out of anti-enlightenment thinking, Swedenborgian Christianity and Greek and Norse mythologies.

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The Poetic Genius is the true Man and the body or outward form of Man is derived from the Poetic Genius.

All Religions are One

1788

And I made a rural pen, And I stained the water clear, And I wrote my happy songs — Every child may joy to hear.

Songs of Innocence

1789

Attraction and repulsion, reason and energy, love and hate, are necessary to human existence. From these contraries spring what the religious call Good and Evil... Good is heaven. Evil is hell.

The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

1790
Newton

Newton

1795
The Night of Enitharmon’s Joy

The Night of Enitharmon’s Joy

1795
Visions of the Daughters of Albion (Frontispiece)

Visions of the Daughters of Albion (Frontispiece)

1795
Visions of the Daughters of Albion (Plate 4)

Visions of the Daughters of Albion (Plate 4)

1795
Pity

Pity

1795
The Angel Appearing to Zacharias

The Angel Appearing to Zacharias

1799-1800
The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun

The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun

1803

I travelled through a land of men, A land of men and women too, And heard and saw such dreadful things, As cold earth wanderers never knew.

The Mental Traveler

1803
Angel of the Revelation

Angel of the Revelation

1803-1805
Elohim Creating Adam

Elohim Creating Adam

1805
The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun

The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun

1805-1810
The Sun at his Eastern Gate

The Sun at his Eastern Gate

1816-1820
Beatrice Addressing Dante from the Car

Beatrice Addressing Dante from the Car

1824-1827
Minos

Minos

1824-1827
Dante Running from the Three Beasts

Dante Running from the Three Beasts

1824-1827
Laocoön

Laocoön

1825-1827
1701
Virtuoso painter, political chameleon, complete jerk
Jacques-Louis David
Painted for Marie Antoinette and never made a dime
Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun
William Blake
A global titan of neoclassical sculpture
Antonio Canova
The masters' master
Katsushika Hokusai
1900

The artists of Symbolism