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Lister,The Paintings of William Blake (abstract)

  • Raymond Lister. The Paintings of William Blake. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1986.
AN ENTERTAINING INTRODUCTION of twenty pages is largely biographical, containing a number of interesting anecdotes about Blake's life. It is followed by reproductions of and annotations for 75 of Blake¹s works. The term "painting" is taken rather loosely, as it often must be when one discusses Blake. The works shown include plates from illuminated books, color-printed drawings, and colored engravings. The book is an excellent introduction to Blake's illustrations, offering more thorough annotations of each work than is usual in this type of calalogue. Paintings are arranged chronologically. Selections cover a wide variety of works, and include many of the more interesting paintings available. The first work shown is of dubious origin, but is possibly the earliest-known engraving by Blake, King Sebert, from the Wall-Painting on the Sedelia above his Monument (1775). The book closes with The Ancient of Days, the frontispiece to Europe and one of Blake's best and most-often reproduced works. It includes a good, though basic, list of suggestions for further reading. (Kimberly Berry.)

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Michael Hancher

Department of English, University of Minnesota

URL: <http://umn.edu/home/mh/txtimkb1.html>

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Created 24 December 1997