Friday, September 16, 2011


Blake copied the cast of the Laocoon in the Royal Academy in about 1815 in order to make an engraving to be included in Rees' Cyclopaedia (click on 2nd picture). He later enlarged and enhanced the engraving with text to project his own ideas about art and religion. The figures for Blake became God and his two sons Adam and Satan who were engaged in a mighty struggle with a threatening force represented by two serpents named good and evil.

Drawing for engraving included in Rees' Cyclopaedia, 1815
Yale Center for British Arts


"This drawing was made by W. Blake in the Royal Academy Somerset House for a small plate he made of the Laocoon for the Article in the Encyclopedia. The article itself was on sculpture being written by Flaxman. When W. B was drawing this his old friend Fuseli came in & said ' Why Mr. Blake you a student you ought to teach us'

in my possession from Mrs Blake

F. Tatham"

 Laocoon, (E273)
" The whole Business of Man is the Arts; things Common
Christianity is Art; not Money.
Jesus and his Apostles; Disciples were all Artists."

Laocoon with Blake's inscriptions.

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