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Reading Blake's Designs

Reading Blake's Designs

  • Date Published: November 1997
  • availability: Unavailable - out of print May 2012
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521555623

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About the Authors
  • William Blake's art has traditionally been interpreted in terms of his poetry, and governed by the assumption that his designs are visualisations of his own poetic myth. In this innovative study, Christopher Heppner constructs a new assessment and interpretation of Blake as illustrator of texts other than his own. Such topics as Blake's handling of human figures and the signifying power of their gestures, his relationship to Michelangelo, and his attitude towards perspective and the conventions of pictorial representation are brought to bear on the 1795 colour prints, the illustrations to Edward Young's Night Thoughts, and the illustrations to the Bible. Heppner concludes with an extended reading of The Sea of Time and Space which differs markedly from previous approaches to the work. Many illustrations, including a colour-plate section, accompany this new interpretation of a complex artist.

    • Challenges the prevailing view that Blake's art presents versions of his poetic mythology
    • Radical new reading of one of Blake's most complex designs, The Sea of Time and Space
    • Handsomely illustrated
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… a highly engrossing study of the relationships between Blake's illustrations and his texts.' The British Society of Aesthetics

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 1997
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521555623
    • length: 320 pages
    • dimensions: 246 x 188 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.891kg
    • contains: 72 b/w illus. 14 colour illus.
    • availability: Unavailable - out of print May 2012
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Blake and the Signifying Body:
    1. The pathos of formulae
    2. 'Michael Angelo Blake'
    3. Humpty Dumpty Blake
    Part II. The syntax of invention:
    4. 'What Critics call the Fable'
    5. '12 large prints … historical and poetical'
    6. Blake and Young's Night Thoughts
    7. Blake's Bible
    8. A 'Style of Designing': perspectives on perspective
    9. The Sea of Time and Space.

  • Author

    Christopher Heppner, McGill University, Montréal

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