Wednesday, December 13, 2017


British Museum
Preliminary drawing for Blair's The Grave

The soul exploring the recesses of the grave
Among the Blake books made available for reading on the internet by the University of Adelaide is The Grave by Robert Blair. Blake made watercolor drawings to illustrate a new edition of the book, expecting to engrave the images himself. Although the lucrative job of engraving went to Schiavonetti, it is Blake's drawings which captured, and enhanced the text through the illustrations.
To create their book the University of Adelaide used the watercolor drawings which were located in 2001 having been lost since 1836. The book published by Cromek with the Schiavonetti engravings is available as a free Google book. The published book, as suggested by the number of subscribers, was profitable to Cromek and Schiavonetti but Blake's creative work of making the designs earned him only a pittance.

Letters, (E 702)
[To Trusler]
"And I know that This World Is a
World of Imagination & Vision I see Every thing I paint In This
World, but Every body does not see alike.  To the Eyes of a Miser
a Guinea is more beautiful than the Sun & a bag worn with the use
of Money has more beautiful proportions than a Vine filled with
Grapes. The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the Eyes
of others only a Green thing that stands in the way.  Some See
Nature all Ridicule & Deformity & by these I shall not regulate
my proportions, & Some Scarce see Nature at all But to the Eyes
of the Man of Imagination Nature is Imagination itself.  As a man
is So he Sees.  As the Eye is formed such are its Powers You
certainly Mistake when you say that the Visions of Fancy are not
be found in This World.  To Me This World is all One continued
Vision of Fancy or Imagination & I feel Flatterd when I am told

America, Pate 8, (E 54)
"For every thing that lives is holy, life delights in life;
Because the soul of sweet delight can never be defil'd.
Fires inwrap the earthly globe, yet man is not consumd;      
Amidst the lustful fires he walks: his feet become like brass,
His knees and thighs like silver, & his breast and head like gold."

Letters, (E 754)
[To William Hayley]
"It is certainly necessary that the best artists that can be
engaged should be employed on the work of Romney's Life. . . . 
How can it be that lightness should be wanting in my works, while
in my life and constitution I am too light and aeriel, is a
paradox only to be accounted for by the things of another world. 
Money flies from me; Profit never ventures upon my threshold,
tho' every other man's doorstone is worn down into the very earth
by the footsteps of the fiends of commerce.  Be it so, as long as
God permits, which I foresee is not long.  I foresee a mighty

Laocoon, (E 273)
"The whole Business of Man Is The Arts & All Things Common
Christianity is Art & not Money 
Money is its Curse
The Old & New Testaments are the Great Code of Art"

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