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Select works of William Blake on rare public display at Lubin House Gallery
Select works of William Blake on rare public display at Lubin House GalleryMarch 26, 2003Domenic Iacono firstname.lastname@example.org
The work of 18th-century poet and artist William Blake is marked by an extraordinary imaginative quality that is combined with a technical skill few other artists possess.
Syracuse University’s Lubin House will display three examples of his creative brilliance, Songs of Innocence, The Book of Job, and Gay’s Fables from March 30-May 2 in the newly dedicated Louise and Bernard Palitz Gallery. The gallery was recently renovated to professional standards with the help of a generous gift from Bernard and Louise Palitz. This show is free to the public.
The exhibition William Blake at Syracuse will feature more than 50 of Blake’s remarkable images that curator Domenic Iacono has selected from the University Collections.
Probably best known as an eccentric mystic and painter, Blake was also an accomplished engraver who illustrated and printed his own poetry. He fashioned a personal view of the world that proclaimed the supremacy of the imagination and spiritualism at a time when most of Europe was applauding the age of enlightenment.
The Songs of Innocence and Book of Job are two special creations from the mind and hand of William Blake. Songs was one of several “illuminated” or color print projects that Blake created to spread his poetry and philosophy. Blake controlled every aspect of its production; he wrote, printed, illustrated, and published this work with only the assistance of his wife Catherine. The poetry is unique and beautiful, the designs are completely original, and Blake himself invented the process used to print the images.
The Book of Job was his last commissioned work, but the ideas behind the illustrations had been germinating in his mind for many years. Considered by many to be among his greatest achievements as an artist, Blake’s images are more than illustrations; they are also his personal interpretation of the biblical story. Blake’s creative genius, and his non-conformist philosophy are readily apparent in this beautiful series of engravings.
In the seldom-exhibited work, Gay’s Fables, Blake displays his ability to work in the traditional manner of engraving. Originally published in 1727 with illustrations that were less than inspiring, Blake was given an opportunity in 1793 to redesign some of the images. When possible, Blake added his own keen sense of design and originality to infuse the images with vitality not present in the earlier editions of the fables.
Gallery hours are Monday-Friday, noon-5; Saturdays 11-4. For more information, please call Lubin House at 212-826-0320.