The Otherworldly Artwork of William Blake: An Introduction to the Visionary Poet and Painter

Given his achievements within the realms of each poetry and portray, to say nothing of his compulsions to spiritual and philosophical inquiry, it’s tempting to name William Blake a “Renaissance man.” However he lived within the England of the mid-eighteenth century to the close to mid-nineteenth, making him a Romantic Age man — and actually, in accordance with the present historic view, certainly one of that period’s defining figures. “In the present day he's acknowledged as essentially the most religious of artists,” say the narrator of the video introduction above, “and an essential poet in English literature.” And whether or not realized on canvas or in verse, his visions have retained their energy over the centuries.

That energy, nevertheless, went virtually unacknowledged in Blake’s lifetime. Most who knew him regarded him as one thing between an eccentric and a madman, a notion his grandly mystical concepts and vigorous rejection of each establishments and conventions did little to dispel.

Blake didn’t imagine that the world is as we see it. Fairly, he sought to entry a lot stranger underlying truths utilizing his formidable creativeness, exercised each in his artwork and in his desires. Cultivating this capability permits us to “see a World in a Grain of Sand / And a Heaven in a Wild Flower / Maintain Infinity within the palm of your hand / And Eternity in an hour.”

These phrases come from certainly one of Blake’s “Auguries of Innocence.” Regardless of being certainly one of his best-known poems, it merely hints on the depth and breadth of his worldview — certainly, his view of all existence. His total corpus, written, painted, and printed, constitutes a type of atlas of this richly imagined territory to which “The Otherworldly Artwork of William Blake” gives an outline. Although very a lot a product of the time and place wherein he lived, Blake clearly drew much less inspiration from the world round him than from the world inside him. Actuality, for him, was to be cultivated — and richly — inside his personal being. Nonetheless at the moment, the chimerical conviction of his work dares us to domesticate the truth inside ourselves.

Associated content material:

Enter an Archive of William Blake’s Fantastical “Illuminated Books”: The Photographs Are Elegant, and in Excessive Decision

William Blake’s Work Come to Life in Two Animations

William Blake’s Masterpiece Illustrations of the E-book of Job (1793-1827)

William Blake’s Hallucinatory Illustrations of John Milton’s Paradise Misplaced

William Blake Illustrates Mary Wollstonecraft’s Work of Youngsters’s Literature, Authentic Tales from Actual Life (1791)

William Blake: The Outstanding Printing Strategy of the English Poet, Artist & Visionary

Based mostly in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and tradition. His tasks embody the Substack e-newsletter Books on Cities, the guide The Stateless Metropolis: a Stroll by Twenty first-Century Los Angeles and the video sequence The Metropolis in Cinema. Observe him on Twitter at @colinmarshall, on Fb, or on Instagram.

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