Previous Exhibition - William Blake

William Blake at Gallery 1516 "printing in the infernal method”

William Blake at Gallery 1516 "printing in the infernal method” 

Thursday April 27th through Sunday June 25th 2017

Exhibition of replica prints from William Blake’s Illuminated Books
Selected & Printed by Michael Phillips

William Blake's original relief-etched copper plates used to print his illuminated books such as the Songs of Innocence and of Experience, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell and Europe a Prophecy, disappeared in the nineteenth century.

The best evidence that shows how Blake etched his plates in relief is a single fragment of a cancelled plate from America a Prophecy, now in the Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. This fragment shows clearly how Blake etched his plates, in two stages, to a depth of 0.12 mm., making it possible to re-create the relief-etched copper plates of the illuminated books in the same way, and to print impressions that are all but indistinguishable from Blake’s originals.

To re-create the plates from Blake’s illuminated books exact-size photo negatives of the rare original monochrome impressions have been used, including some posthumous impressions printed before the plates were lost. The negatives are then modified to eliminate printing flaws in the original impressions – such as poor inking, smudging and spattering – and meticulously restore any letters or elements of the design in order to establish the clearest and most complete example. The amended negative is then transferred to the copper plate. Each plate is then etched in two stages to the same shallow depths as the America fragment, exactly following Blake's practice.


Gallery Hours

Friday, Saturday, Sunday 11 am - 5 pm
First Friday 11 am - 8 pm

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