Blake Genesis

Genesis: William Blake's Last Illuminated Work

Edited by:Mark Crosby and Robert N. Essick, with an introduction by Robert R. Wark
Release Date:2012-02-01

Price: $80

About this Book

William Blake—poet, printmaker, artist—drew inspiration from the Bible throughout his life. Shortly before his death in 1827, he began an illuminated manuscript of the Book of Genesis, revisiting such key themes as creation, division, and forgiveness. Blake was also concerned with questions of biblical interpretation: his two depictions of the creation of Eve, for instance, demonstrate his engagement with theories of Genesis as a composite text.

This landmark edition of Blake’s Genesis provides the first full-size color reproduction of the Huntington Library’s manuscript. Blake completed 11 pages of text decorated with pencil and watercolor designs, including two vibrantly colored title pages. Blake’s unfinished pages offer rare insights into his process of composition, such as the way in which he conceived of and worked up his designs from preliminary sketches. Mark Crosby and Robert N. Essick’s detailed critical commentary considers the way in which Blake read his Genesis, Blake’s relationship with patron John Linnell, and the iconography of Blake’s designs and their relation to earlier works.


About the Author
Mark Crosby is the Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at Queen’s University, Belfast. Robert N. Essick, a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at the University of California, Riverside, is the author of numerous books on William Blake.


“An insightful glance into Blake’s artistic method, theological outlook, and interpretive techniques. . . . A treat for both the eyes and the mind.”—Transpositions

"The Crosby-Essick Genesis is both a splendid facsimile and an indispensable work of reference. . . . Becoming familiar with it will be both a pleasure and a duty."—Blake: An Illustrated Quarterly


See also Songs of Innocence and of Experience

About The Huntington

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is a collections-based research and educational institution established in 1919 by Henry E. and Arabella Huntington. Henry Huntington, a key figure in the...

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