[Humanist] 23.730 new on WWW: Blake Archive update

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Mon Mar 29 09:01:35 CEST 2010


                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 23, No. 730.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
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        Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2010 17:41:18 -0400 (EDT)
        From: William S Shaw <wsshaw at email.unc.edu>
        Subject: Update to the William Blake Archive

27 March 2010

The William Blake Archive <www.blakearchive.org> is pleased to announce 
the publication of an electronic edition of 20 of Blake's water color 
illustrations to the Bible. They are presented in a new category in the 
Archive's main Table of Contents, "Illustrations to the Bible, c. 
1780-1824," under Drawings and Paintings, Water Color Drawings. These 
designs illustrate the Old Testament and are arranged according to the 
passages illustrated. They are presented in our Preview mode, one that 
provides all the features of the Archive except Image Search and Inote 
(which provides detailed descriptions of Blake's images).

The Bible had an enormous influence on Blake's work as both artist and 
poet. Among his many and complex responses to that text are water color 
drawings. The present group of 20 is selected from a sequence of about 80 
biblical water colors of similar size that Blake painted for Thomas Butts 
between c. 1800 and c. 1806. These designs emphasize interactions between 
the human and the divine. In works such as _Ezekiel's Wheels_ and _David 
Delivered Out of Many Waters_, the interaction is revelatory or 
redemptive. In other designs, including _Pestilence: The Death of the 
First-Born_, the relationship between God and humankind devolves into 
punishment and destruction.

This group of water colors is the first installment in our publication of 
a large selection of Blake's water color drawings illustrating the Bible. 
In coming months we will publish a group of New Testament illustrations 
also from the series executed for Butts. Later we will add early works, 
such as _Abraham and Isaac_, datable to c. 1780, and continue through 
Blake's final biblical water colors, including _Moses Placed in the Ark of 
the Bulrushes_ of c. 1824.

As always, the William Blake Archive is a free site, imposing no access 
restrictions and charging no subscription fees. The site is made possible 
by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the continuing support 
of the Library of Congress, and the cooperation of the international array 
of libraries and museums that have generously given us permission to 
reproduce works from their collections in the Archive.

Morris Eaves, Robert N. Essick, and Joseph Viscomi, editors
Ashley Reed, project manager, William Shaw, technical editor
The William Blake Archive






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