The William Blake Archive is pleased to announce the publication of a digital exhibition on William Blake’s Biblical Illustrations. It joins the previously published installments in this wing: William Blake’s Canterbury Pilgrims, Biography, and Illuminated Printing. Exhibitions can be accessed through the drop-down at the upper right of the Archive’s home page.

The current exhibition comprises six mostly thematic galleries, each with a different curator. The galleries examine some of Blake’s water color drawings, tempera paintings, and engravings that illustrate the Bible in relation to his other works and to artistic and interpretive traditions:

  • The Influence of Blake’s Westminster Abbey Assignment on His Biblical Illustrations
  • Blake’s Apocryphal Scenes of the Infant Jesus
  • The Public Ministry of Jesus in the Butts Biblical Designs
  • The Evolution of a Plate for Illustrations of the Book of Job
  • Blake’s Anagogical Interpretation of the Bible
  • Blake’s Biblical Women and the Virgin-Vixen Axis

This exhibition is the first to include contributions from scholars outside the Archive, with Naomi Billingsley, Jennifer Davis Michael, and Sheila A. Spector joining Archive assistant Jared N. Powell, former assistant Kendall DeBoer, and Sarah Jones, managing editor of Blake/An Illustrated Quarterly, who also edited the project.

An Allegory of the Bible

Each gallery contains the same navigational features: text (with links to Archive objects and to images in the gallery space) scrolls vertically in the left frame, while the main right frame—the gallery space—scrolls horizontally through a set of images, each one accompanied by a caption.

As always, the William Blake Archive is a free site, imposing no access restrictions and charging no subscription fees. The site is made possible by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with the University of Rochester, the continuing support of the Library of Congress, and the cooperation of the international array of libraries and museums that have generously given us permission to reproduce works from their collections in the Archive.

Morris Eaves, Robert N. Essick, and Joseph Viscomi, editors
Joseph Fletcher, managing editor, Michael Fox, assistant editor
The William Blake Archive