Monday, November 14, 2016

JOB AND HIS DAUGHTERS

National Gallery of Art
Tempera Painting of Job and His Daughters
1799-1800

Scholars tell us that this picture was created in approximately 1800, the time when Blake had come under the patronage of first Butts then Hayley. Blake had at this time not produced a series of image illustrating Job. Five years later he would illustrate Job for Butts; twenty-one years later he would reproduce Butts' paintings for Linnell adding an image which hawked back to his design of Job and His Daughters of 1800.

When Blake painted his tempera of Job and his daughters he was making a statement about the exercise of imagination by man. Job as the universal man was connected to the Eternal through his daughters who were each one of the arts funnelling the imagination into time and space.

In this image we see Job (as representative of humanity) before he lost the ability to allow his imagination to act as a connection to the Divine Vision. He is capable of embracing the arts of poetry, painting and music to express the spirit which dwells within. The pictures on the wall behind Job and the three females are temporal expressions of eternal realities which are made permanent when the objects reflected in the vegetable world have lost their finite limitations.

Jerusalem, Plate 77, (E 231)
"All the tortures of
repentance. are tortures of self-reproach on account of our
leaving the Divine Harvest to the Enemy, the struggles of
intanglement with incoherent roots.  I know of no other
Christianity and of no other Gospel than the liberty both of body
& mind to exercise the Divine Arts of Imagination.   
  Imagination the real & eternal World of which this Vegetable
Universe is but a faint shadow & in which we shall live in our
Eternal or Imaginative Bodies, when these Vegetable Mortal Bodies
are no more.  The Apostles knew of no other Gospel.  What were
all their spiritual gifts? What is the Divine Spirit? is the Holy
Ghost any other than an Intellectual Fountain? What is the
Harvest of the Gospel & its Labours?"

Milton, Plate 27 [29], E 125)
"Urizens sons here labour also; & here are seen the Mill
Of Theotormon, on the verge of the Lake of Udan-Adan:            
These are the starry voids of night & the depths & caverns of earth
These Mills are oceans, clouds & waters ungovernable in their fury
Here are the stars created & the seeds of all things planted
And here the Sun & Moon recieve their fixed destinations

But in Eternity the Four Arts: Poetry, Painting, Music,          
And Architecture which is Science: are the Four Faces of Man.
Not so in Time & Space: there Three are shut out, and only
Science remains thro Mercy: & by means of Science, the Three
Become apparent in time & space, in the Three Professions

Poetry in Religion: Music, Law: Painting, in Physic & Surgery: 

That Man may live upon Earth till the time of his awaking,
And from these Three, Science derives every Occupation of Men."

The picture is described from the mundane perspective in William Blake, by Robin Hamlyn and Michael Phillips:

"Behind the figures of Job are three panels showing his experiences; to the left, the destruction of his servants by the Chaldeans, with Satan overhead; to the right, the destruction of Job's ploughman by Satan; in the center, 'The Lord Answering Job out of the Whirlwind' - a design that appears as a separate illustration in Blake's series of engravings. The theme can be seen as the transformation of experience into art: it illustrates Job making a story out of his life, and also has Blake referring to his own art."
Page 62

The expressions of the arts are the agent of imagination. As Damon tells us: "The Daughters of Memory (tradition) are often confused with the Daughters of Inspiration: 'Imagination has nothing to do with memory.'"

Annotations to Wordsworth, (E 666)
"Imagination is the Divine Vision not of The
World nor of Man nor from Man as he is a Natural Man but only as
he is a Spiritual Man Imagination has nothing to do with Memory"

Milton, Plate 27 [29], (E 125)
"Urizens sons here labour also; & here are seen the Mill
Of Theotormon, on the verge of the Lake of Udan-Adan:            
These are the starry voids of night & the depths & caverns of earth
These Mills are oceans, clouds & waters ungovernable in their fury
Here are the stars created & the seeds of all things planted
And here the Sun & Moon recieve their fixed destinations

But in Eternity the Four Arts: Poetry, Painting, Music,          
And Architecture which is Science: are the Four Faces of Man.
Not so in Time & Space: there Three are shut out, and only
Science remains thro Mercy: & by means of Science, the Three
Become apparent in time & space, in the Three Professions

Poetry in Religion: Music, Law: Painting, in Physic & Surgery: 

That Man may live upon Earth till the time of his awaking,
And from these Three, Science derives every Occupation of Men." 
A Vision of The Last Judgment, (E 554)
"For the Year 1810
Additions to Blakes Catalogue of Pictures &c
... 
The Last Judgment is not Fable or Allegory
but   Vision Fable or Allegory are a totally distinct & inferior
kind of Poetry.  Vision or Imagination is a Representation of
what Eternally Exists.  Really & Unchangeably.  Fable or Allegory
is Formd by the Daughters of Memory.  Imagination is Surrounded
by the daughters of Inspiration who in the aggregate are calld
Jerusalem  The Hebrew Bible & the Gospel of
Jesus are not Allegory but Eternal Vision or Imagination of All
that Exists Visions of Imagination
ought to be known as Two Distinct Things & so calld for the Sake of
Eternal Life Plato has made Socrates say that Poets & Prophets do
not Know or Understand what they write or Utter this is a most
Pernicious Falshood.  If they do not pray is an inferior Kind to
be calld Knowing Plato confutes himself

     The Last judgment is one of these Stupendous
Visions. I have represented it as I saw it.
to different People it appears differently as every
thing else does for tho on Earth things seem Permanent they are
less permanent than a Shadow as we all know too well
     The Nature of Visionary Fancy or Imagination is very little
Known & the Eternal nature & permanence of its ever Existent
Images is considerd as less permanent than the things of
Vegetative & Generative Nature yet the Oak dies as well as the
Lettuce but Its Eternal Image & Individuality never dies. but
renews by its seed. just as the Imaginative Image
returns by the seed of Contemplative
Thought the Writings of the Prophets illustrate these conceptions
of the Visionary Fancy by their various sublime & Divine Images
as seen in the Worlds of Vision"
      

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