Blake's dedication to his personal art was ambitious and uncompromising. He was drawn to epic themes that gave expression to his deeply held beliefs about the fallen condition of humanity, the pervasiveness of evil and oppressive forces, and states of spiritual and moral crisis. His works have make little reference to reality; they are images of a parallel cosmos held in Blake's imagination. This alternate universe was fueled by his extensive reading of the Bible, mythology, Milton, and other literature but also reflected with his study of art history. During his training as as apprentice engraver, for example, he spent hours drawing the gothic architecture of Westminster Abbey. There, he absorbed the lessons offered by the cathedral's stylized forms, line, and symmetry, echoes of which can be seen in his art. Other sources- medieval illuminated manuscripts and the engravings of works by renaissance artists such as Raphael, Michelangelo, and Albrecht Durer he studied- also proved important sources to Blake.
His works originality and sometimes graphic content, as well as the eccentricity of his character led some of Blake's peers to question his sanity and mental stabilty, according to comtemporaneous accounts. The artists had visions of angels or spirits, the first which occurred at age 10 when he saw" a tree filled with angels, bright angelic wings bespangling every bough like stars". Such experiences were a source of inspiration for the artist and he recorded them in letters and writings.
Yet Blake did not love only in his own fantastical world. Much of his work responded to the events of the day. London in the final years of the eighteenth century had absorbed the forment of the American and French Revolutions, internal uprisings against class inequalities, and the transformations of the industrial revolution. Blake regarded such political and social shifts with suspicion, believing the for told a coming apocalypse and subduing of humanity through the new civic and technological orders.
Blake's personal life was quite. He married Catherine Boucher, who became his business partner and steadfast supporter. The couple did not have children. Blake found kinship with some artists of the day, but had only a few steady patrons and died in a state of financial distress. Artists later in the century, especially the British pre-Raphaelites and later the surrealist, found Inspiration in Blake's original and visionary art.
This sounds like what we have been watching for the last six years, doesn't it?
I will be back later so we can BREAK IT ALL DOWN!
I'm really excited this morning. You all were talking about symbolism, so I went a digging! This is going to shock you, it's amazing and may very well be the answer or answers we have been looking for. Rationalgal you head my list on this one. If you scratch the surface of the show we all love, you are apt to find some amazing things and I mean amazing! HERE IS WHAT I FOUND, YOU BE THE JUDGE! This is from the National Gallery of Art on William Blake. British, 1757-1827.
The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed with the Sun. 1805.
...I do not consider either the just, or the wicked, to be in a supreme state, but to be, every one of them, states of sleep which the soul may fall into in it's deadly dreams of good and evil, when it leaves paradise following the serpent.
This is what they have to say about Blake's Red Dragon and the Woman in the Clothed sun painting.
A cosmic battle between good and evil unfolds in this drawing watercolor by romantic poet and visionary artist William Blake. Sweeping line across the drawing and evoke the zigzag flash of lightning, whoosh of a gale, and flap of wings, imbuing the scene with tension, the stakes are no less the fate of humankind.
The book of revelation, the final book of the new testament, contains a series of warnings to the Christians to maintain and guard their faith, then relates a series of allegorical episodes that demonstrate the consequences of spiritual defection. Blake's the Great Dragon and the Woman Clothed in the Sun illustrates passages that describe a " an enormous Red Dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns in his head" who descends upon " a Women Clothed with the Sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head" The dragon embodies Satan. His mission is to exact revenge on the Woman who has given birth to a follower of God who will spread the Christian faith.
Sun bathes the woman's figure and catches in the crescent sliver of the moon on which she rests. Darkness and shadow fill the sky above like a storm cloud as the dragon's wings stir a great wind and sweep her hair upward, flamelike. Below, a rising deluge invoked by the dragon- intended to engulf the woman- overwhelms the figures of hapless souls as the devil hovers to witness her demise. God grants her wings that carry her to safety. Yet the powerful image of the dragon's outstretched arms and hers arcing towards each other in a mirror image suggests the good and evil are a duality, like the dark and light sides of the moon, rather then completely independent forces.
The earth will open up to swallow the water, and the thwarted dragon will fly away to wage war against the women's progeny, the followers of God. For Blake, it is spiritual power- the purity and goodness represented by the woman- that always prevails, however horrific the circumstances.
Three other watercolors of the Great Red Dragon passages appear in a series of book revelation works made by Blake between 1805 and 1809. They are part of a larger group of tempera and watercolor paintings executed for Blake's most important patron, Thomas Butts.
He probably did get Fibonacci in Vegas, one of Lorelei's old haggin' buddies! Remember now, the chicken didn't make it. She made chicken soup for Jane! Squeezed the poor thing for some eggs before she hacked it up. Now that I think about it, she did get what she deserved!:-D
I know, you just can't leave bloggers to their own devices. They better give us something soon before we levitate the place! Just keeping it Mentalist real. :-)
I bet you guys were rolling! I know I would have been!
Jane said he hypothesized a chicken in 1x2.
Comment modified at February 13, 2014 21:37
Now that is wildly funny!
Jane's pigeon's name is Fibonacci!
I wonder if that pigeon had to audition for the part. My guess is probably not. That's bogus, probably knew him from his carney days!
Can you tell I'm in need of a new episode?!
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