Pick of the Day : Works of William Blake on Display by Tate

In today’s Pick of the Day, for D’s Art Takes, I Divvya Nirula present my take on – “Works of William Blake on Display by Tate”.

William Blake

The late William Blake,  was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. As an adolescent, we went to drawing school and began writing poetry. By the age of 20, he wrote some of the finest poetry in English language. He delved into different creative media such as engravings,  drawing, watercoloring, and making small paintings in tempera.

Eventually, we also created a process of etching, that allowed him to combine etching and text on the same printing plate. This method enabled great control of the printed page. His most popular works were Biblical subjects.

Tate Exhibits Watercolours by Blake

The exhibition organised by Tate is priceless, as these watercolours were lost for 165 years. Finally, they appeared at a second-hand bookshop in Glasgow, and were initially sold for £50! The works were painted in 1805, to illustrate Robert Blair’s poem The Grave. There were a total of 19 water colour works. A series of six will be available from viewing by the Tate.

In 2001, two dealers purchased them for £1000. Thereafter, it was sold to the London dealer Libby Howie for around £5m. In 2006, the works were given to Sotheby’s. From a total of 19 works, 11 were sold fetching $6.2M. There are 300 original works, including his watercolours, paintings and prints, this is the largest Blake show for almost 20 years.


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