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Titolo: WILLIAM BLAKE
Casa editrice: Harry Abrams, New York
Data di pubblicazione: 2000
Condizione libro: Near Fine
Condizione sovraccoperta: Near Fine
Edizione: First Edition.
The only manuscripts to survive that lead to the production of one of William Blake's published illuminated books are those of the Songs of Innocence and of Experience, his most accessible and best-loved work. Here, one of the world's foremost authorities on Blake's manuscripts and illuminated printing details the evolution of this masterwork and its entire production process.
In the manuscript known as An Island in the Moon are found the beginnings of Songs of Innocence and in the Manuscript Notebook, a treasure of the British Library, over fifty poems in draft leading to Songs of Experience. All of the pages in manuscript of Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience are reproduced in color facsimile, including many of the drawings used in illustration, granting the reader a singular view of the artist's mind at work. Michael Phillips details the stages of Blake's composition and his remarkable technique of relief etching text and design on a single copperplate. For the first time, he demonstrates Blake's development of selective color printing of the design in opaque pigments over the original monochrome impression. Used in producing the first copies of Songs of Experience, this second step accounts for their dramatic contrast with the first issues of Songs of Innocence, which were hand-colored in transparent watercolors.
Blake united Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience in 1794 and produced copies in greater numbers than any other work until his death. In the past, the last copies Blake made have been reproduced because of their elaborate and expensive decoration. Phillips concentrates upon the first copies, revealing the original conception of the work. An impressive selection of these plates are reproduced for the first time.
This beautifully illustrated book is a major contribution to Blake studies. It will delight Blake enthusiasts and all who are fascinated by the extraordinary processes of creation and reproduction it describes.
One day in the late 1760s, when William Blake was a little boy enrolled in a London drawing school, a strange thing happened as he walked across Peckham Rye. He saw "a tree filled with angels, bright angelic wings bespangling every bough like stars." These spirits, and a host of other creatures that peopled his fervent imagination, would later be immortalized in the engravings and poems he printed on his own press, which have placed him in the first rank of British artists and literary figures. And so it is surprising that this fine book--impeccable in every respect, from the detailed yet easy-to-follow notes on individual prints, drawings, and paintings to the quality and thoughtful presentation of the 250 reproductions--wasn't published sooner. It accompanies "William Blake," the largest-ever exhibition of the artist's works, which originated at the Tate Britain and is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York through May 27, 2001.
Essays by biographer and novelist Peter Ackroyd and Romantic poetry specialist Marilyn Butler set the stage for the haunting images of powerful, accursed, and spectral figures on succeeding pages. The four sections of the book address key aspects of Blake's art. The first one focuses on the influence of Gothic style and spiritualism on his style. The second deals with Blake's life during the 1790s in the South London village of Lambeth, where he harnessed his printmaking innovations to radical political views. It is intriguing to learn how even Blake's new, typically contrary method of etching in relief was a metaphor for his belief in divinely inspired innate ideas. The third section discusses the odd characters that peopled Blake's works, and the fourth surveys his major illuminated books (including Songs of Innocence and Experience), which he created, in his words, "under the direction of Messengers from Heaven, Daily & Nightly." --Cathy Curtis
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