Sunday, November 03, 2013

Europe 11

The Text
PLATE 11 Albions Angel rose upon the Stone of Night. He saw Urizen on the Atlantic; And his brazen Book, That Kings & Priests had copied on Earth Expanded from North to South.
Commons Wikipedia
Europe 11
About the Text

Stone of Night
His brazen book reached over all the world; in other words this parlous condition is universal.

Albion's Angel is the fat old man seen in so many other Blake pictures such as
the title page of The Book of Urizen, but in the Europe 11
picture the old man has a crown, obviously the king.

Blake presumably wrote the Book of Urizen later than Europe,  so we may suppose that he may have come to see the king as a urizenic person with no imagination, his only recourse to pure tradition or law.

About the Images

Urizen in contrast is sitting
With bat wings 'Albion's Angel' sits on a sort of throne with the Book in his lap. BehinHn front of two large strones  ('Ten Commandments'; read also the Stone of Night). He is writing with his right and left hands (think what that means!); his naked left foot sticks out while the right foot is hidden.
Urizen is writing with both hands: writing the laws of course to be added to the Book.

Above and below the Title are spreading but leafless branches of the usual tree; the tree is virtually an icon of the fallenness, like the Tree of Mystery.

Back in the main image the two 'angel queens' (See Europe 5) is seen with crossed scepters, while "serpents dart from their robes" (Erdman Illuminated Blake; p.169)
The 'king' has a headdress closely resembling that of a high Roman Catholic prelate.

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