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The Divine Comedy of Dante -William Blake (1824-1827)

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  1. Introduction
  2. William Blake
  3. The Divine Comedy of Dante
  4. The rebirth of a romantic medievalism
  5. A controversial visionary artist, embodying medievalism
  6. Conclusion

William Blake is a multifaceted artist. As a poet, painter and engraver, he was born in 1757 and died in 1827, having been able to complete these illustrations of the Divine Comedy of Dante. During his lifetime, he was appreciated and supported by those brothers and a few patrons such Linell or Butts.

It was at his death his work was recognized, these poems illuminated these mystical prints, through its high water technical relief that he himself invented to print at home cheaply. Blake is said to be inspired by these visions. He created his own mythology, and painted a world full of mysticism. History painter, he appropriates legendary periods and includes in his imagination. Protester nature, it is violently opposed to institutions, the monarchy, the academic and the social will of person's recognition as a unit and not as a set of individuals with different personalities. William Blake is an artist who is part of the Romantic Movement. Romanticism is a current whose major themes are the evocation of extreme states of nature and sustainable enthusiasm for the Middle Ages.

[...] The merger, interlacing patterns between the lines, as well as calligraphy recalls the methods familiar to medieval illuminators and synthesizes the two modes of expression of Blake. These representations can be paralleled with work dating it from the end of the Middle Ages. The similarities in the colors, layout and floral decorations are predominant and perfectly visible. [...]

[...] The representation of the muscular body highlighted by sometimes sharp shadows and colors, sometimes dark is a constant at Blake, as well as the rounded shapes. By these illustrations of the Divine Comedy of Dante, William Blake created a mythology which representation reflects the mystical visions they saw while inspired by medieval art, or the Gothic style. Indeed, William Blake said he draw his creative energy of these mystical visions s. Specifically, its unique imagination found in these works come from hallucination or divine revelation he receives from God or angels. [...]

[...] This is a command one of these patrons, John Linell, William Blake watercolors begins on Divine Comedy of Dante in 1824. He worked there for 3 years, so until his death and ends up producing 7 engravings, drawings and 102 watercolors watercolors relate Hell, Purgatory evoke 20 and 10 deal of Paradise. Blake was opposed to religious ideas of Dante, but most of these are pure watercolor illustrations of the literature of Dante, to which he added his mystical and dark fantasy, inspired by the dualism : Good / bad, right / passion idyllic / frightening scenes. [...]

[...] The gothic novel inspired romantics. Indeed, he staged melodramas, fantasy, morbid eroticism, anticlericalism. Romanticism is especially made through Blake and Fussli who engaged in inserting the past in their works, or at least the vision they had in. England 19th century saw it appear on the revival of the gothic style, the revival gothi c. The Gothic spirit is studied through the poetic literature of Dante, Shakespeare and Milton, but also through architecture including Westminster Cathedral. Cathedral which we will see later, heavily inspired Blake. [...]

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