William Blake 1757 - 1827

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William Blake - Job\'s Comforters, from Illustrations from the Book of Job
Auction
Pictures and Prints Online
March 2023
Bonhams
Est.: 800 - 1.200 GBP
Realised: 536 GBP
Details
William Blake - Job\'s Comforters, from Illustrations of the Book of Job
Auction
Prints & Multiples
January 2022
Bonhams, Los Angeles
Est.: 700 - 900 USD
Realised: 6.120 USD
Details
William Blake - Enoch
Auction
Old Master Prints
December 2021
Christies, London
Est.: 100.000 - 150.000 GBP
Realised: 125.000 GBP
Details
William Blake - The Death of Ezekiel’s Wife
Auction
Old Master Drawings
January 2021
Sothebys, New York
Est.: 80.000 - 120.000 USD
Realised: 289.800 USD
Details
William Blake - Plates seventeen, eighteen and nineteen, from Illustrations of the Book of Job
Auction
Prints and Multiples
December 2019
Bonhams, London
Est.: 3.000 - 5.000 GBP
Realised: not available
Details
William Blake - Plates seven, eight and nine from Illustrations of the Book of Job
Auction
Prints and Multiples
December 2019
Bonhams, London
Est.: 3.000 - 5.000 GBP
Realised: not available
Details
William Blake - When the Morning Stars Sang Together, from Illustrations to The Book of Job
Auction
Prints & Multiples
October 2019
Bonhams, Los Angeles
Est.: -1 - -1 USD
Realised: 2.422 USD
Details
William Blake - Illustrations To Dante\'S Divine Comedy (Bindman 647-653)
Auction
Yeats: The Family Collection
September 2017
Sothebys, London
Est.: 7.000 - 10.000 GBP
Realised: 15.000 GBP
Details
William Blake - Illustrations To The Book Of Job (Bindman 627-632, 634-637, 641-643, 645-646)
Auction
Yeats: The Family Collection
September 2017
Sothebys, London
Est.: 10.000 - 15.000 GBP
Realised: 10.000 GBP
Details
William Blake - The Counseller, King, Warrior, Mother & Child In The Tomb
Auction
Old Master Drawings
January 2017
Sothebys, New York
Est.: 100.000 - 150.000 USD
Realised: 125.000 USD
Details
William Blake - \'Whilst Surfeited Upon Thy Damask Cheek, The High-Fed Worm In Lazy Volumes Roll\'D, Riots Unscar\'D\'
Auction
Old Master Drawings
January 2017
Sothebys, New York
Est.: 180.000 - 240.000 USD
Realised: 200.000 USD
Details

The artist William Blake

  • English poet, painter and nature mystic.
  • Considered the inventor of relief etching (relief printing).
  • Artistic outsider, was only appreciated decades after his death.

From childhood William Blake stood out with his headstrong temperament. His father, a middle-class stocking maker, never sent his son to school; he was taught at home by his mother. At the age of ten, Blake already attended an important drawing school in his native London. In 1772, at the age of 15, he began an apprenticeship as an engraver. After graduating, the young artistic talent studied at the Royal Academy of Arts from 1779, where his extraordinary abilities predicted a successful career as a history painter. However, a falling out with the president prevented this career.

In 1784 Blake opened a print shop in London, where he worked together with his wife. Until his death, he created commissioned engravings and illustrations. He himself did not regard these as art, but as a necessary craft to ensure his survival. In his spare time, Blake devoted himself to his own creations, mostly etchings. They usually contain a lot of text and sometimes serve as illustrations for his own poems. During his lifetime, Blake, with his mystical view of the world, was regarded as mentally deranged. It was not until the mid-19th, and especially later in the 20th century, that he was recognised as a visionary who had pointed out the dangers of modernisation and material progress.

The American and French Revolutions had an enormous impact on Blake's world view. He advocated »racial« and gender equality, propagated spiritualism and abhorred materialism. Although he was very attached to the New Testament and used it as inspiration for many etchings and paintings, he shocked Christian contemporaries with his views.

Blake invented what is known as relief etching, also called relief printing, in his print shop. It is an extension of intaglio printing in which embossing of the paper takes place at the same time. The visionary artist died in London in 1827, misunderstood and in poverty.

For about 150 years, his poetic and painterly work has received increasing attention, especially in Great Britain. Gaining an overview of Blake's extensive graphic work is almost impossible today. The sheets are too scattered, some of them in unknown collections.

Der Künstler William Blake

  • Englischer Dichter, Maler und Naturmystiker.
  • Gilt als Erfinder der Reliefradierung (Prägedruck).
  • Künstlerischer Außenseiter, wurde erst Jahrzehnte nach seinem Tod gewürdigt.

Von Kindesbeinen an fiel William Blake mit seinem eigenwilligen Temperament auf. Sein Vater, ein Strumpfmacher aus der Mittelschicht, schickte seinen Sohn nie zur Schule; er wurde von seiner Mutter zuhause unterrichtet. Bereits im Alter von zehn Jahren besuchte Blake eine bedeutende Zeichenschule in seiner Geburtsstadt London. Mit 15 Jahren begann er 1772 eine Lehre als Kupferstecher. Nach seinem Abschluss studierte das junge Kunsttalent ab 1779 an der Royal Academy of Arts, wo ihm aufgrund seiner außerordentlichen Fähigkeiten eine erfolgreiche Karriere als Historienmaler vorhergesagt wurde. Ein Zerwürfnis mit dem Präsidenten verhinderte diese Karriere jedoch.

1784 eröffnete Blake eine Druckerei in London, wo er zusammen mit seiner Frau arbeitete. Bis zu seinem Tod schuf er Auftragsgravuren und -illustrationen. Diese sah er selbst nicht als Kunst, sondern als notwendiges Handwerk an, um sein Überleben zu sichern. In seiner Freizeit widmete Blake sich eigenen Kreationen, zumeist Radierungen. Sie enthalten in der Regel viel Text und dienen manchmal als Bebilderung seiner eigenen Gedichte. Zu Lebzeiten galt Blake mit seinem mystischen Weltbild als geistig Verwirrter. Erst ab Mitte des 19., besonders später im 20. Jahrhundert erkannte man ihn als Visionär, der auf Gefahren der Modernisierung und des materiellen Fortschritts hingewiesen hatte.

Die Amerikanische und die Französische Revolution beeinflussten Blakes Weltbild enorm. Er setzte sich für »Rassen«- und Geschlechtergleichheit ein, propagierte Spiritualismus und verabscheute Materialismus. Obwohl er sich dem Neuen Testament sehr verbunden fühlte und es ihm für viele Radierungen und Malereien als Inspiration diente, schockierte er christliche Zeitgenossen mit seinen Ansichten.

Blake erfand in seiner Druckerei die sogenannte Reliefradierung, auch Prägedruck genannt. Es handelt sich um eine Erweiterung des Tiefdrucks, bei dem gleichzeitig eine Prägung des Papiers stattfindet. Der visionäre Künstler verstarb 1827 unverstanden und in Armut in London.

Seit etwa 150 Jahren findet sein dichterisches und malerisches Werk zunehmend Beachtung, besonders in Großbritannien. Einen Überblick über Blakes umfangreiches grafisches Werk zu gewinnen, ist heutzutage nahezu unmöglich. Zu verstreut sind die Blätter, teils in unbekannten Sammlungen.

William Blake - The Descent Of Man Into The Vale Of Death
Auction
Master Drawings
January 2016
Sothebys, New York
Est.: 200.000 - 300.000 USD
Realised: 225.000 USD
Details
William Blake - The Hymn Of Christ And The Apostles
Auction
Master Drawings
January 2016
Sothebys, New York
Est.: 200.000 - 300.000 USD
Realised: 322.000 USD
Details
William Blake - Illustrations Of The Book Of Job (Keynes 55; Binyon 105-126; Bentley 421A; Bindman 625-46)
Auction
Old Master Prints
December 2014
Christies, London
Est.: 30.000 - 50.000 GBP
Realised: 62.500 GBP
Details
William Blake - Two Studies Of A Baby’S Head, Possibly Hannah Or Elizabeth Ann Linnell  
Auction
Old Master & British Drawings
July 2014
Sothebys, London
Est.: 4.000 - 6.000 GBP
Realised: 11.250 GBP
Details
William Blake - Pestilence, Probably The Great Plague Of London
Auction
Old Master & British Drawings
July 2014
Sothebys, London
Est.: 20.000 - 30.000 GBP
Realised: 25.000 GBP
Details
William Blake - And My Servant Job Shall Pray For You, Plate 18, From: The Book Of Job (Bindman 643; Binyon 123)
Auction
A Life's Devotion: The Collection of the Late Mrs T.S. Eliot
November 2013
Christies, London
Est.: 600 - 800 GBP
Realised: 500 GBP
Details
William Blake - Illustrations Of The Book Of Job (Binyon 105-126; Bindman 625-646; Bentley 421A)
Auction
Prints & Multiples – Old Master, Modern & Contemporary
September 2013
Sothebys, London
Est.: 15.000 - 20.000 GBP
Realised: 31.250 GBP
Details
William Blake - Joseph Ordering Simeon To Be Bound
Auction
Old Master & British Drawings including French Masterworks from the Dormeuil Collection
July 2013
Sothebys, London
Est.: 20.000 - 30.000 GBP
Realised: 27.500 GBP
Details
Blake, William - The Waking of Leonora, original design for the tailpiece in a bilingual edition of Leonora
Auction
The Collection of Arthur & Charlotte Vershbow
April 2013
Christies, New York
Est.: 60.000 - 80.000 USD
Realised: 207.750 USD
Details
Blake, William - Songs Of Innocence and Of Experience Shewing The Two  Contrary States Of The Human Soul
Auction
The Collection of Arthur & Charlotte Vershbow
April 2013
Christies, New York
Est.: 100.000 - 150.000 USD
Realised: 123.750 USD
Details
William Blake - The Gambols Of Ghosts According With Their Affections Previous To The Final Judgement
Auction
Old Master Drawings
January 2013
Sothebys, New York
Est.: 400.000 - 600.000 USD
Realised: 722.500 USD
Details
William Blake - An Angel, Arms Upraised, With Another Figure
Auction
Old Master & Early British Drawings & Watercolors Including an Important Canadian Collection and a Distinguished Private Collection
January 2013
Christies, New York
Est.: 12.000 - 18.000 USD
Realised: 22.500 USD
Details

William Blake in a nutshell

Blake's etchings cost between a few thousand and 300,000 US dollars. Individual works fetch significantly higher prices of over 720,000 US dollars, such as The Gambols Of Ghosts According With Their Affections Previous To The Final Judgement.

Best known is And Did Those Feet in Ancient Time, which appeared in the preface to his epic poem Milton: A Poem in Two Books (1904-1810). Since 1916 it has been known as the hymn Jerusalem, with music by Hubert Parry. It is considered the most popular patriotic song in England.

Other famous poems by Blake include The Garden of Love, A Poison Tree, To the Evening Star and Eternity.

Häufige Fragen zu William Blake

Radierungen von Blake kosten etwa zwischen wenigen tausend bis 300.000 US-Dollar. Einzelne Werke erzielen deutlich höhere Preise von über 720.000 US-Dollar, wie The Gambols Of Ghosts According With Their Affections Previous To The Final Judgement.

Am bekanntesten ist And did those feet in ancient time, das im Vorwort zu seinem epischen Gedicht Milton: A Poem in Two Books (1904-1810) erschien. Seit 1916 ist es mit der Musik von Hubert Parry unterlegt als Hymne Jerusalem bekannt. Es gilt als beliebtestes patriotische Lied in England.

Weitere bekannte Gedichte von Blake sind The Garden of Love, A Poison Tree, To the Evening Star und Eternity.

William Blake quotes

»A truth, maliciously told, beats all the lies that can be invented.«
»To the bird a nest, to the spider a web, to man – friendship.«
»A busy bee has no time for grief.«

Zitate von William Blake

»Eine Wahrheit, in böser Absicht berichtet, schlägt alle Lügen, die man erfinden kann.«
»Dem Vogel ein Nest, der Spinne ein Netz, dem Menschen − Freundschaft.«
»Eine geschäftige Biene hat keine Zeit für Kummer.«

William Blake in News and Exhibitions

Los Angeles, The Getty Museum: »William Blake: Visionary«

He was a printmaker, painter and poet: the early Romantic William Blake left behind a unique oeuvre that irritated contemporaries. Beginning October 17, the Getty Museum will dedicate William Blake: Visionary to the extraordinary work of the British artist.

October 17, 2023

William Blake in News and Exhibitions

Los Angeles, The Getty Museum: »William Blake: Visionary«

Er war Druckgrafiker, Maler und Dichter: der Früh-Romantiker William Blake hinterließ ein einzigartiges Œuvre, das Zeitgenossen irritierte. Ab dem 17. Oktober widmet sich das Getty Museum mit William Blake: Visionary dem außergewöhnlichem Werk des Briten.

October 17, 2023

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