William Blake ~ Art History  ~ 141 Slides ~ Romantic Age Poet Artist ~ Public Domain Art
This art work is several hundred years old and is NOT under copyright anywhere. It is in the public domain. The author is a retired lawyer but still producing artist.

This is a complete presentation on William Blake Art History which is highly visual and thoroughly annotated.


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.
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Created: Oct 11, 2016

Updated: Feb 22, 2018

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