The Language of The Prophetic Art by David Bindman

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William Blake’s print titled The Whirlwind of Lovers; the Circle of the Lustful (Fig.1.) depicts a scene from Dante’s Divine Comedy. In the essay The Language of The Prophetic Art Bindman main points were that throughout Blake’s life his art developed and evolved reflecting previous techniques in the past some he continued to use in his artwork and some he rejected later in his career. He argues this point through the use of comparing Blake’s artwork to that of other artists before his time or during his time and using these examples as clear instances of Blake adopting other styles and incorporating it into his artwork.

In the essay Bindman main points was addressing Blake’s gradual change of style in his artwork and by adopting other styles. He does by stating in Blake’s artwork depicts each figure with differentiated features, citing that this type of style was associated in the time of Raphael, during the high renaissance movement. He states that “later in his art career, Blake began to eliminate background figures and showing strong facial expressions in the figures in the foreground” . And cites the artworks Europe (No. 44) (Fig. 2.), The Book of Urizen (Pl, IV) (Fig. 3.), and Plague (No. 12) (Fig. 4.) examples of where the main figures are showing intense emotions. He shows these examples of Blake’s artwork changing styles to support his point that Blake’s artwork was always gradually evolving throughout his art career. I agree with this point due to the many examples he provided of Blake’s artwork incorporating the use of intense emotions in figures.

Bindman continues to address Blake’s evolution of artistic techniques by also stating how during the 1790’s Blake’s artwork became more expressive of the human body. He sta...

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...o the country. After this shift his artwork centralized on compositional symmetry and the representation of light.

Works Cited

Bindman, David. 1982. The Language of Prophetic Art. Great Britain : Thames and Hudson.
Blake, William. 1824. Beatrice Addresing Dante from the Car.
Blake, William. 1794. Europe a Prophecy.
Blake, William. 1805. Plague.
Blake, William. 1804. Plate 76 of Jersualem.
Blake, William. 1794. The Book of Urizen.
Blake, William. 1827. The Whirlwin of Lovers.
Gardner, Charles. 2010. William Blake: The Man. The Project Gutenberg.
Gilchrist, Alexander. 1880. Life of William Blake.
Le Brun, Charles. 1760. Terrour or Fright.
The Metropoliatian Museum of Art Bulletin. 1967. Vol. 8. 25 vols.
Wedmore, Fredrick. 1900. Dictionary of National Biography Issac Basire. Vol. 3. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
William, Blake. 1795. Newton.
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