Visual Encyclopedia

William Blake Archive

The William Blake Archive is a digital humanities project first created in 1996. The project is sponsored by the Library of Congress and supported by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Inspired by the Rossetti Archive, the archive provides digital reproductions of the various works of William Blake, a prominent Romantic-period poet, artist, and engraver, alongside annotation, commentary and scholarly materials related to Blake.

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This seminal work of merges both Blake's poetry and his artistic talent in the realm of engraving. This particular engraving, the general title page to Songs of Innocence and of Experience, showcases the moment directly after Adam and Eve's realization of human sin and of their own intelligence. In many ways, this highlights Blake's feelings about the "innocent" state of childhood and religion and the "experienced" state of adult human life. The bird of paradise appears to be flying away, back toward God. Meanwhile, Adam and Eve cower near the ground as they are pierced with the noise and color of a wrathful Old Testament God.

Contributed by Katlyn Powers

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