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William Blake Gallery of Royalty Free Images Art Works in High Resolution. Click image for the largest size, then right click to save or print.

"The Creation of Eve"
Genesis 1

   Daring indeed is this conception of  "The Creation of Eve," a picture that might well have come to grief in lesser hands than Blake's. As it is, the picture is a poetic conception of the scriptural text: "And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof. And the rib . . . made He a woman."

The scene is the garden of Eden, symbolized by a grove in the background. In spite of the difficult placing of the figures, by the purity of his line, Blake has created a masterpiece of simple beauty. This is one of his finest and sanest completed drawings.


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William Blake The Creation of Eve Royalty Free Art Images
"The Creation of Eve" (click images for full size)

William Blake
(1757 - 1827)

Being asked for his autograph on one occasion, William Blake, the great English artist-poet, whom Wordsworth pronounced "mad, but with something in his madness which interests me more than the sanity of Lord Byron and Walter Scott," signed this epitaph: "Born 28th Nov. 1757 in London, and has died several times since." To a mutual friend who offered to introduce Blake to Wordsworth the former expressed his thanks strongly, saying, "You do me honor. Mr. Wordsworth is a great man. Besides, he may convince me that I am wrong about him. I have been wrong before now."

William Blake Christ in the Sepulcher with Angels Royalty Free Image Gallery Christ In The Sepulcher
Guarded By Angels

William Blake The Wise and Foolish Virgins Royalty Free Images The Wise and Foolish Virgins, William Blake 1826

William Blake Ancient of Days Royalty Free Image Gallery Ancient of Days
c. 1800

Visiting England during the lifetime of both Blake and Wordsworth, the German painter Gotzenberger has left on record: "I saw in England many men of talent, but only
three men of genius—Coleridge, Flaxman and Blake; and of these Blake was the greatest."

William Blake Satan Smiting Job with Sore Boils 1826 Royalty Free Images Satan Smiting Job
with Sore Boils

William Blake Ghost of Samuel Appears to Saul Royalty Free Images Ghost of Samuel Appearing to Saul

William Blake Cain Fleeing 1826 Royalty Free Images Cain Fleeing

Blake was most scantily educated in the rudiments of reading and writing; arithmetic also may be taken for granted, but it is not recorded. He himself was never a believer in formal education, contending that it curbed imagination and killed inspiration. He began drawing very early, becoming, as a biographer says, "at ten years of age an artist, and at twelve a poet." He copied prints in his boyhood and haunted art salesrooms; his parents, more especially his mother, seem to have encouraged this artistic turn.

William Blake Annunciation to the Shepherds 1809 Royalty Free Images
Annunciation to the Shepherds

Job 38:7 When Morning Stars Sang William Blake Royalty Free Images Job 38:7
When Morning Stars Sang


In 1767 he was sent to a drawing school in London, where he had the opportunity of studying from the antique, but not from the life. At auctions he bought engravings low, but with a discriminating eye; a Durer, or after, a Raphael or a Michel Angelo, none of whom was popular in England at the time. But, as W. M. Rossetti notes, "the little lad Blake already moved intellectually within his own insight, as a planet within its own orbit." In later life Blake declared, "I am right; others who differ with me are wrong," and it seems to have been his attitude from the beginning.

At fourteen Blake was apprenticed to an engraver, and the engraving branch of art was that which he followed ever afterwards as his regular calling. He next studied in the Antique School of the Royal Academy, under a master named Mosher, who figures in this anecdote: Young Blake was examining some prints from Raphael and Michel Angelo in the Academy library when Mosher extolled in their stead the works of Rubens and Lebrun . "These things that you call finished," cried Blake, "are not even begun; how then can they be finished?" Another anecdote concerns an interview he had with Sir Joshua Reynolds, to whom he was submitting some designs for his opinion. Sir Joshua recommended less extravagance and more simplicity, and urged Blake to correct his drawing. This Blake seemed to regard as an affront never to be forgotten. "No doubt," writes Rossetti, "the censure of the drawing of so severe and forcible a draughtsman as Blake, coming from one of so much loose facility as Reynolds, was particularly galling, notwithstanding their great difference in age and professional standing."

In the same year that Blake first began exhibiting in the Royal Academy he became disappointed in love, and confiding his distress to the daughter of his landlord, she expressed her pity for him. "Do you pity me?" asked Blake. "Yes, I do most sincerely." "Then I love you for that." "And I love you," responded the damsel, who a short time later signed her mark in the marriage register and for forty-seven years was "an angel on earth" to William Blake, whose work had little enough sympathy during his lifetime.

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