Trivium Art HistoryThe Artists

William BlakeArt is life, science is death

William Blake was an English artist born in 1757. Blake contributed to the Symbolist movement and died in 1827.

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

The Night of Enitharmon’s Joy

1795

Visions of the Daughters of Albion (Frontispiece)

1795

Visions of the Daughters of Albion (Plate 4)

1795

Pity

1795

Newton

1795

The Angel Appearing to Zacharias

1799-1800

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

The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun

1803

Angel of the Revelation

1803-1805

Elohim Creating Adam

1805

The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun

1805-1810

The Sun at his Eastern Gate

1816-1820

Laocoön

1825-1827

Beatrice Addressing Dante from the Car

1824-1827

Minos

1824-1827

Dante Running from the Three Beasts

1824-1827

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