Britain’s great Romantic visionary William Blake (1757–1827) was an artist of uniquely powerful imagination and creative talents. Prophet, poet, painter, and engraver, Blake captured the spiritual drama of English nationalism, integrating poetry and visual art to create a truly unique body of work. First published in 1968, this classic study reveals Blake to be far more than a social radical, reshaping our understanding of the artist’s achievements and unraveling the complex symbolism expressed in his paintings and prints.
Author Kathleen Raine guides the reader through the life and thought of this extraordinary artist. Detailing the enriching effect of mystical, alchemical, and gnostic philosophy—as well as Dante, Milton, and the Bible—on Blake’s art, she examines famous works such as Jerusalem, Songs of Innocence and Experience, and The Book of Job, relating them to Blake’s world view and analyzing their fierce energy and prophet qualities. Packed with nearly 200 images, William Blake is a must-have for fans of this legendary artist. This book is reissued with a new introduction by Colin Trodd, reflecting on Raine’s life and work and the impact of her writings on Blake.
A unique and valuable guide.
— Times (London)
Gracefully written and generously illustrated.
— Times Literary Supplement
Kathleen Raine (1908-2003) wrote extensively on Blake throughout her long and distinguished literary career. Her two-volume study, Blake and Tradition, played a vital part in establishing that Blake belongs to a long and coherent tradition of Platonic, hermetic, and mystical thought. Her other books include From Blake to a Vision, Blake and the New Age, and The Human Face of God: William Blake and the Book of Job.
Colin Trodd is senior lecturer at the University of Manchester.