Specialty books for the curious of mind


William Blake Apprentice and Master Author/Editor/Contributor: Michael Phillips

William Blake Apprentice and Master Author/Editor/Contributor: Michael Phillips


Publisher:Ashmolean Museum

ISBN 13: 9781854442888

Pages: 220

Illustrations: black and white: 160, colour;35

Dimensions: 280 X 220CM

This major publication on William Blake (1757–1827) explores the man and his work as printmaker, painter and revolutionary poet. What is it about the artist, who claimed his first vision of angels in a tree at age 10, to have such an impact on generations of creative people? Bob Dyan and Allen Ginsberg in our own time, Samuel Palmer, George Richmond and Edward Calvert in the 19th century -- and countless others have been impacted by this fascinating individual. Our graphic novels and fantasy art have a direct link to Blake's etched songs and Prophetic Books.

This is the complete catalogue of an exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, written by Michael Phillips, world authority on Blake. The exploration is in three basic sections -- the first, Blake’s early career and apprenticeship and includes his drawings for Westminster Abbey, his schooling and his attraction for great Renaissance master printmaker-artists. . .

Blake’s most inventive (1790’s) period features the development of his etched poetry and design together -- creative work done in relief on the same copper plate. He used this “Illuminated Printing” to produce his Songs of Innocence and of Experience, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, and Europe a Prophecy

In Blake’s final years, encouraged by John Linnell, his interest in pure line engraving resulted in magnificent illustrations for the Book of Job, and young artists such as Samuel Palmer and Edward Calvert (the group, ‘The Ancients’) gathered around him and produced their own luminous works -- also shown in this stunning publication.

As a celebrated Blake expert, Michael Phillips has been awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, Yale Centre for British Art, the British Library Centre for the Book and the Medal of the Collège de France. He lectures and gives Blake printmaking demonstrations internationally. For the Ashmolean Museum of the University of Oxford, he is both curator of the Blake exhibition (opening December, 2014) and of a replica of the artist’s printmaking studio that is being recreated in a special gallery. He also was guest curator for the (2000-2001) Blake exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Tate Britain. Phillips is currently writing a biography of Blake in Lambeth during the anti-Jacobin Terror in Britain. His edition in facsimile of Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell was published in 2011 (Bodleian Library and the University of Chicago Press).

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