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All Things William Blake

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Life mask of William Blake.
"In September 1823, he let the sculptor James Deville immerse his head in plaster, with only a straw to breath through as it solidified.
Before photography, masks from moulds of living and recently dead faces were the most accurate way of preserving someone’s appearance. Deville probably learned the technique from his master, the sculptor Joseph Nollekens. Deville practised phrenology - reading character from the size and shape of the skull, as devised by J Spurzheim. Blake seems to have read Spurzheim, too. His drawing of the man who taught him painting in his dreams (c. 1819-20) resembles a phrenology diagram. Deville built up a collection of casts and wished to include Blake’s “as representative of the imaginative faculty”. Because of phrenology, we have a quasi-photographic image of an artist who has become infinitely more famous since his death.”
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Life mask of William Blake.

"In September 1823, he let the sculptor James Deville immerse his head in plaster, with only a straw to breath through as it solidified.

Before photography, masks from moulds of living and recently dead faces were the most accurate way of preserving someone’s appearance. Deville probably learned the technique from his master, the sculptor Joseph Nollekens. Deville practised phrenology - reading character from the size and shape of the skull, as devised by J Spurzheim. Blake seems to have read Spurzheim, too. His drawing of the man who taught him painting in his dreams (c. 1819-20) resembles a phrenology diagram. Deville built up a collection of casts and wished to include Blake’s “as representative of the imaginative faculty”. Because of phrenology, we have a quasi-photographic image of an artist who has become infinitely more famous since his death.”

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To Winter

From Blake’s Poetical Sketches:


TO WINTER. 

O WINTER ! bar thine adamantine doors :
The North is thine ; there hast thou built thy dark
Deep-founded habitation. Shake not thy roofs,
Nor bend thy pillars with thine iron car.

He hears me not, but o'er the yawning deep
Rides heavy; his storms are unchained, sheathed
In ribbed steel ; I dare not lift mine eyes ;
For he hath reared his sceptre o'er the world.

Lo! now the direful monster, whose skin clings
To his strong bones, strides o'er the groaning rocks:
He withers all in silence, and in his hand
Unclothes the earth, and freezes up frail life.

He takes his seat upon the cliffs, the mariner
Cries in vain. Poor little wretch, that deal'st
With storms ! till heaven smiles, and the monster
Is driv'n yelling to his caves beneath Mount Hecla.

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To Autumn

From Blake’s Poetical Sketches:



TO AUTUMN.

O AUTUMN, laden with fruit, and stained
With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit
Beneath my shady roof; there thou may'st rest,
And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe.
And all the daughters of the year shall dance!
Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.

"The narrow bud opens her beauties to
The sun, and love runs in her thrilling veins;
Blossoms hang round the brows of Morning, and
Flourish down the bright cheek of modest Eve,
Till clust'ring Summer breaks forth into singing,
And feathered clouds strew flowers round her head.

"The Spirits of the Air live on the smells

Of fruit; and Joy, with pinions light, roves round

The gardens, or sits singing in the trees,"

Thus sang the jolly Autumn as he sat ;

Then rose, girded himself, and o'er the bleak

Hills fled from our sight: but left his golden load.


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The Four and Twenty Elders Casting their Crowns before the Divine Throne is a pencil drawing and watercolour on paper by the English poet, painter and printmaker William Blake. Created circa 1803–1805, the drawing has been held in London’s Tate gallery since 1949. It is likely a visionary and hallucinatory summary of scenes from Chapters 4 and 5 of the Book of Revelation when the throne of God was presented to the prophet Saint John the Divine.
Saint John described the scene,
before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal…  round about… were four beasts full of eyes… The four and twenty  elders fall down before him… and worship him that liveth for ever and  ever.
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The Four and Twenty Elders Casting their Crowns before the Divine Throne is a pencil drawing and watercolour on paper by the English poet, painter and printmaker William Blake. Created circa 1803–1805, the drawing has been held in London’s Tate gallery since 1949. It is likely a visionary and hallucinatory summary of scenes from Chapters 4 and 5 of the Book of Revelation when the throne of God was presented to the prophet Saint John the Divine.

Saint John described the scene,

before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal… round about… were four beasts full of eyes… The four and twenty elders fall down before him… and worship him that liveth for ever and ever.
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From Blake’s Poetical Sketches:

To Spring.
O thou with dewy locks, who lookest downThro' the clear windows of the morning, turnThine angel eyes upon our western isle,Which in full choir hails thy approach, O Spring!The hills tell each other, and the listeningValleys hear; all our longing eyes are turnedUp to thy bright pavilions: issue forth,And let thy holy feet visit our clime.Come o'er the eastern hills, and let our windsKiss thy perfumed garments; let us tasteThy morn and evening breath; scatter thy pearlsUpon our love-sick land that mourns for thee.O deck her forth with thy fair fingers; pourThy soft kisses on her bosom; and putThy golden crown upon her languished head,Whose modest tresses were bound up for thee.
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From Blake’s Poetical Sketches:

To Spring.

O thou with dewy locks, who lookest down
Thro' the clear windows of the morning, turn
Thine angel eyes upon our western isle,
Which in full choir hails thy approach, O Spring!

The hills tell each other, and the listening
Valleys hear; all our longing eyes are turned
Up to thy bright pavilions: issue forth,
And let thy holy feet visit our clime.

Come o'er the eastern hills, and let our winds
Kiss thy perfumed garments; let us taste
Thy morn and evening breath; scatter thy pearls
Upon our love-sick land that mourns for thee.

O deck her forth with thy fair fingers; pour
Thy soft kisses on her bosom; and put
Thy golden crown upon her languished head,
Whose modest tresses were bound up for thee.

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To Summer

From Blake’s Poetical Sketches:

To Summer: 

O THOU who passeth through our valleys in
Thy strength, curb thy fierce steeds, allay the heat
That flames from their large nostrils! Thou, O
Summer,

Oft pitched'st here thy golden tent, and oft
Beneath our oaks has slept, while we beheld
With joy thy ruddy limbs and flourishing hair.

Beneath our thickest shades we oft have heard
Thy voice, when Noon upon his fervid car
Rode o'er the deep of heaven. Beside our springs
Sit down, and in our mossy valleys, on
Some bank beside a river clear, throw thy
Silk draperies off, and rush into the stream !
Our valleys love the Summer in his pride.

Our bards are famed who strike the silver wire;
Our youth are bolder than the southern swains,
Our maidens fairer in the sprightly dance.
We lack not songs, nor instruments of joy,
Nor echoes sweet, nor waters clear as heaven,
Nor laurel wreaths against the sultry heat.
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Los Entering the Grave 1804-20 Etching with pen, watercolour and gold, 220 x 160 mm Yale Center for British Art, New Haven
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Los Entering the Grave
1804-20
Etching with pen, watercolour and gold, 220 x 160 mm
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven

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"The Ancient of Days"
From Europe a Prophecy
William Blake
1794
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"The Ancient of Days"

From Europe a Prophecy

William Blake

1794

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From Blake’s Europe a Prophecy, 1794.
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From Blake’s Europe a Prophecy, 1794.

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From Blake’s Europe a Prophecy.
Europe a Prophecy is a 1794 prophetic book by English poet and illustrator William Blake. It is engraved on 18 plates, and survives in just nine known copies. It followed America a Prophecy of 1793.
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From Blake’s Europe a Prophecy.

Europe a Prophecy is a 1794 prophetic book by English poet and illustrator William Blake. It is engraved on 18 plates, and survives in just nine known copies. It followed America a Prophecy of 1793.

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