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Printing in the Infernal Method: William Blake's Method of Illuminated Printing

An investigation in to Blake's printing method and comparison to prevailing methods.

In 1788 William Blake invented a method of relief etching that he called
‘illuminated printing’. This made it possible to print both the text of his poems
and the images that he created to illustrate them from the same copper plate
in an engraver’s rolling press. The lecture will explain Blake’s invention in
the context of conventional eighteenth-century illustrated book production,
its metaphorical significance for Blake, the creation of the first illuminated
books, like the Songs of Innocence, and how the further development of
colour-printing his images led to the production of the Large Colour Prints or
monotypes of 1795, Blake’s supreme achievement as a graphic artist.
Michael Phillips is Emeritus Fellow of the interdisciplinary Centre for
Eighteenth Century Studies at the University of York. He has been guest
curator of major exhibitions of Blake, in London, New York and Paris, and
is currently preparing ‘William Blake Apprentice & Master’, due to open at
the Ashmolean Museum in November 2014. His most recent publication
on Blake is an edition in facsimile with introduction and commentary of the
Bodleian Library copy of The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, published by
Bodleian Library Publications and the University of Chicago Press in 2011.
Michael’s training and research as a printmaker has enabled him to re-create
how Blake produced his illuminated books.


Michael Phillips | talks


Date and Time:

11 November 2013 at 7:30 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



St James's Church, the Meeting Room, the Rectory
197 Piccadilly
0207 734 4511
Show map

Organised by:

Blake Society
See other talks organised by Blake Society...



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