Monday, January 07, 2013


At  Genesis 2:24-25 :(King James Version KJV):

24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto 
his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
In the context of the biblical beginning  they "were not ashamed".  In Blake's 
culture  (and ours) nakedness was considered shameful, something not to be talked 
about, but  to be reserved to a lawful bedroom.  Blake was more tuned to the biblical
culture than to ours.

His pictures show shamefulness associated with clothes, a garment, a fig leaf,
and nakedness associated with innocence.  Today it's permissible to exhibit little
children with being naked, but for adults it's considered indecent exposure.

Jerusalem Plate 81
Look at this famous picture to see most graphically Blake's attitude
toward being naked.

The veiled (clothed) figure is Vala; she seems to be attempting to entice
(naked) Jerusalem into her 'veil', to dress up and join the 'beauty parade.

But Jerusalem and her (naked) children think better of that.
Vala's course led to Eternal Death, but Jerusalem's course to Eternal Life.

(Blake's Vala, posted Tuesday, March 27, 2012 interprets this image,
but not in terms of nakedness.)

(You might find a better image at Yale Center for British Art.)

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