William Blake ~ Art History ~ 141 Slides ~ Romantic Poet Artist ~ Visionary
This is a complete presentation on William Blake Art History which is highly visual and thoroughly annotated. My preview is 20 of the slides in the presentation for you to download in pdf format. This will give you the best idea of what the product is like. There are also the below text excerpts.
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William Blake was an English poet, painter and printmaker born in 1757 and died in 1827. Although his genius was not recognized when he was alive, in the years after his death, he became a major figure in both poetry and the visual arts. He is often classed with the Romantic Age artists but art historians admit that he is a very difficult artist to classify with other artists or within a movement.
Today Blake is admired for his expressiveness, creativity and mystical, philosophical sense. Although a large part of his work ties into the Bible, Blake was against organized religion in any form. It was a curious dichotomy but he remained reverential towards the Bible and hostile to religion his entire life.
He apprenticed with an engraver and learned the more old fashioned styles of that art. His engraving master sent him to Westminster Abbey to draw and while there he claimed to experience visions of Christ, the Apostles and monks chanting. Some thought Blake mad and these kinds of claims by him did not help quell that opinion. These visions continued throughout his life.
~When William Blake combined his art and poetry together into books, “mixed media” was not in use. But that’s how Blake saw it. That he was combining two art forms of his into one art object.
~Even further into the future was the phrase “desktop publishing” but Blake also had that idea in use.
~After he created the art and the poetry, he and his wife used all of their printing techniques to print the book themselves. So they also had a “handmade book” at the end but they didn’t call it that.
~ Blake was a visionary and this was all in the ordinary course of his daily life.
~Because this is an art course, not a literature course, there is next given a segment of these book pages but it does not take over the presentation.
~However, one cannot understand Blake’s art without looking at Blake’s books.
~After these book pages, the presentation will resume with Blake’s art work.
~At the time of the Vietnam anti war demonstrations in the late 1960s, prose from Blake was used by the protestors. This was the first line used: “The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.” It led to arrests in New York City.
~Then the protestors of the late 1960s used Blake’s radical hymn, “Jerusalem.” It reads (change country’s name as applicable):
“I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England’s green and pleasant land.”
~Then a poem of Blake’s was used as a revolutionary chant. It was from the Songs of Experience (1794), and called “The Tyger:”
“In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?”
~Allen Ginsberg, poet and activist, chanted Blake at huge public readings.
~Since Blake had been vehemently for the American Revolution, the French Revolution and women’s rights, he would have approved his work’s use had he been around. But Blake had been dead for 141 years by the late 1960s.
~Blake wouldn’t have appeared for the marches in any case. He was solely interested in journeys of the mind and did not travel. He lived in a cottage for three years in the country but other than that, he never left London.
~Students might be tempted to think that Blake could be of no inspiration for them today. Hollywood screenwriters don’t agree. For Season Three of the tv show “Hannibal,” the killer at large modeled himself after Blake’s “Red Dragon.” The killer was so besotted with this art work that he tracked it down at the Brooklyn Museum of Art (yes, it is there). Then he ate it so he could become one with it.
~This occurs in movies and tv constantly. Art works are used all the time as inspiration for anyone in the behind the camera portion of the business.
~Left is the killer with his red dragon tattoo. He thinks the Red Dragon, above him, is really there. Blake would think the same as he too had visions.
~“Red Dragon” was also a bestseller book and a movie before it was in this tv show. The tv show used the art work the best of the three, however.
~John Varley was an English watercolorist and astrologist. He and William Blake were close friends.They held seances together to try to summon spirits.
~This creature appeared to Blake in such a seance. The creature stated that all fleas were inhabited by the souls of men who were “by nature bloodthirsty to excess”.
~Blake was obsessed with the supernatural, He claimed to have seen visions daily since his boyhood. He also believed that his dead brother Robert was still with him thirteen years later, When he wrote,he claimed that Robert was dictating to him,
~Many people generally assumed Blake was mad. His wife,when asked about him,often responded by saying,
~“I have very little of Mr. Blake’s company,He is always in Paradise.”
~Varley was very taken with Blake and commissioned him to make a series of works depicting "Visionary Heads.”