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Behemoth and Leviathan from The Book of Job
William Blake


 

       

William Blake @The Morgan

 
 

Tyger, Tyger!

   

 

  

Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!
Milton, William Blake

Poet, illustrator, printmaker, and painter William Blake possessed a wild and completely original imagination.  Timid or self-effacing Blake was not: in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell he opined that his birth marked the origin of a 'new heaven' of creativity -- a claim to which the subtitle of the Morgan show alludes.  To glimpse intimations of Blakean genius, it is well worth paying a visit to the Morgan Library and Museum to see
William Blake's World: A New Heaven Is Begun

 

The Morgan's Blake Collection began as early as 1899 when Pierpont Morgan first purchased his paintings.  The curators have assembled over 100 works, including some of Blake's most brilliant watercolors, prints, and illuminated books of poetry.  His engravings were etched in copper - pages with text and illustrations - and the pages printed from the engravings were often painted with watercolors afterwards.

 

 

He had a deliberate prophetic style, something of Milton there, Milton whom he very much admired.  He was also a sympathizer with the French and American Revolutions, and a friend of Tom Paine.  Blake's work is suffused with Biblical allegories and religious illustrations; included here are his famous 21 watercolor illustrations for the Book of Job created around 1805-10 and 12 drawings illustrating John Milton's poems L'Allegro and Il Penseroso.  His illuminations are generally small in size, meticulously detailed, and were to influence the pre-Raphaelites in particular....  To see the show is to step into some marvelous world of the imagination....

 

To see a world in a grain of sand, 
And a heaven in a wild flower, 
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, 
And eternity in an hour....

 

 

See: William Blake's World: A New Heaven Is Begun 

 

 

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