In a career that ranged over a turbulent era in European history, William Blake (1757-1827) produced one of the most singular and intense body of works in the history of art. Neglected and misunderstood in his lifetime, his extraordinary paintings, poetry and prints now enjoy an international reputation. Technically innovative, strikingly original, and highly personal in their symbolism, his images are both powerfully immediate in their effects and challenging in their complexity. His visual interpretations of the Bible, the poetry of Milton and of Dante, and his unique illuminated books, demonstrate a fervid invention and a searching intellect that have entranced generations of admirers.
The Blake Book provides a thorough introduction to the life and work of this complex figure. and draws on the vast array of contemporary scholarship, providing a clear-headed overview of Blake's writings and paintings. Exploring the context of his art and life, his symbolism, techniques and critical reputation, and presenting his own writings on art and artists, The Blake Book is the essential guide to this extraordinary figure.
Martin Myrone is a curator at Tate Britain, specialising in 18th- and 19th-century British art.