A unique experience for Blake was being present when the tomb of King Edward I who died in 1307 was opened. Although the embalmed body was intact when the casket was opened it quickly disintegrated when exposed to air. Blake recorded the scene for his master.
|Body of Edward I|
Sketched in Westminster Abbey
On Virgil, (E 270)
"Rome & Greece swept Art into their maw & destroyd it
Warlike State never can produce Art. It will Rob & Plunder &
accumulate into one place, & Translate & Copy & Buy & Sell &
Criticise, but not Make.
Mathematic Form is Eternal in the Reasoning Memory. Living Form is Eternal Existence. Grecian is Mathematic Form Gothic is Living Form" Annotations to Reynolds, (E 649) "Reynolds: [Durer] would, probably, have been one of the first painters of his age, (and he lived in all era of great artists,) had he been initiated into those great principles. . . . Blake: What does this mean "Would have been" one of the first Painters of his Age" Albert Durer Is! Not would have been! Besides. let them look at Gothic Figures & Gothic Buildings, & not talk of Dark Ages or of Any Age! Ages are All Equal. But Genius is Always Above The Age" Inscriptions, (E 671) "JOSEPH of Arimathea among The Rocks of Albion Engraved by W Blake 1773 from an old Italian Drawing This is One of the Gothic Artists who Built the Cathedrals in what we call the Dark Ages Wandering about in sheep skins & goat skins of whom the World was not worthy such were the Christians in all Ages Michael Angelo Pinxit ... Engraved when I was a beginner at Basires from a drawing by Salviati after Michael Angelo" Public Address, (E 573) "A Certain Portrait Painter said To me in a boasting way Since I have Practised Painting I have lost all idea of Drawing. Such a Man must know that I lookd upon him with Contempt he did not care for this any more than West did who hesitated & equivocated with me upon the same subject at which time he asserted that Wooletts Prints were superior to Basires because they had more Labour & Care now this is contrary to the truth. Woolett did not know how to put so much labour into a head or a foot as Basire did he did not know how to draw the Leaf of a tree all his study was clean strokes & mossy tints. how then should he be able to make use of either Labour or Care unless the Labour & Care of Imbecillity The Lifes Labour of Mental Weakness scarcely Equals one Hour of the Labour of Ordinary Capacity like the full Gallop of the Gouty Man to the ordinary walk of youth & health I allow that there is such a thing as high finishd Ignorance as there may be a fool or a Knave. in an Embroiderd Coat but I say that the Embroidery of the Ignorant finisher is not like a Coat made by another but is an Emanation from Ignorance itself & its finishing is like its master The Lifes Labour of Five Hundred Idiots for he never does the Work Himself" Public Address, (E 575) "Woolett I know did not know how to Grind his Graver I know this he has often proved his Ignorance before me at Basires by laughing at Basires knife tools & ridiculing the Forms of Basires other Gravers till Basire was quite dashd & out of Conceit with what he himself knew but his Impudence had a Contrary Effect on me. Englishmen have been so used to Journeymens undecided bungling that they cannot bear the firmness of a Masters Touch. Every Line is the Line of Beauty it is only fumble & Bungle which cannot draw a Line this only is Ugliness. That is not a Line which Doubts & Hesitates in the Midst of its Course"
Vision of Last Judgment, (E 560) "Multitudes are seen ascending from the Green fields of the blessed in which a Gothic Church is representative of true Art Calld Gothic in All Ages"
This video presents the Boy Choristers of Canterbury Cathedral. The camera pans the Gothic architecture which enhances the exquisite music.