Human Form Divine: William Blake from the Paul Mellon Collection

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9780300071740: Human Form Divine: William Blake from the Paul Mellon Collection

Apocalyptic, revolutionary, visionary, and lyrical―these words all describe the imagination of William Blake. One of the most gifted rebels of the Romantic era, Blake was an accomplished poet, painter, experimental engraver, and philosopher. In particular, the series of illuminated books he created from the 1780s onward remains one of the most heroic achievements of British Romanticism.
This book examines Blake's stupendous achievement by discussing and displaying some fifty works out of the Paul Mellon collection at the Yale Center for British Art. These include a number of Blake's illuminated books of poetry―the pastoral Songs of Innocence, the prophetic Songs of Experience, Book of Urizen, Book of Thel, and America a Prophecy, as well as plates that comprise the unique, hand-colored copy of Jerusalem, the Emanation of the Giant Albion, Blake's master synthesis of visual imagery and prophetic verse. Blake's work in other media is represented by tempera paintings and watercolors from his series of illustrations to the Bible and a selection of watercolor illustrations to the Poems of Thomas Gray, which reveal the range and wit of Blake's genius at interpreting other poets' work and the brilliance of his mature watercolor technique. Also included in the book are Blake's late engraved illustrations to the Book of Job, Dante's Divine Comedy, and The Pastorals of Virgil. In an introductory essay, Patrick Noon discusses the history of the collection and Paul Mellon's role in promoting Blake studies.

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From the Back Cover:

One of the most gifted rebels of the Romantic era, Blake was an accomplished poet, painter, experimental engraver, and philosopher. In particular, the series of illuminated books he created from the 1780s onward remains one of the most heroic achievements of British Romanticism. This book examines Blake's stupendous achievement by discussing and displaying some fifty works out of the Paul Mellon Collection at the Yale Center for British Art. These include a number of Blake's illuminated books of poetry. Blake's work in other media is represented by tempera paintings and watercolors from his series of illustrations for the Bible and a selection of watercolor illustrations for the Poems of Thomas Gray. Also discussed in the book are Blake's late engraved illustrations for the Book of Job, Dante's Divine Comedy, and The Pastorals of Virgil. In an introductory essay, Patrick Noon discusses the history of the collection and Paul Mellon's role in promoting Blake studies.

About the Author:

Patrick Noon is curator of prints, drawings, and rare books at the Yale Center for British Art.

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