William Blake. Illuminated Books


Illuminated Books by William Blake can be considered a revival of a special medieval practice of manuscript illumination. Blake combined text and visual elements, imagery in the way it had not been done since the medieval epoch. His Books not only bore a vivid visual resemblance to Middle Age items, but were intrinsically close to them according to the time and labor-consuming nature of the work and almost sacral importance of the items.


Thus, Illuminated Books were not merely a texts or a set of cunningly designed drawings, but a genuine and extremely personal pieces of art. Blake`s Books are expressive of the author`s unique personal mythology and visual appearance of every element is integral to its meaning and content.


Every Book employed and adopted a wide range of mythological narrations, themes from the Bible, cultural and literary characters and symbols. Obviously, all these elements were not merely mixed together, but rethought in a genuine way. Blake fused miscellaneous components into an authentic masterpieces, extremely personal and crosscultutal at the same time.


Author`s  hope that his items would obtain wide circulation was unfulfilled. Some Books existed only in unique copies and none were printed in more than tiny numbers. Now, however, the printed editions of the William Blake`s creations are generally available both separately and being assembled in a single volume.


An outstanding pieces of art, Blake`s Books are often accompanied with the corpus of detailed transcripts and scientific comments due to the extremely complex nature of the author`s symbolism.

by Tieriekhova Masha


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