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2 / Dreams and Visions

Angel of the Revelation
Angel of the Revelation
Artist / Origin William Blake (English, 1757–1827)
Region: Europe
Date ca. 1803–05
Material Watercolor, pen, and black ink, over traces of graphite
Dimensions H: 15 7/16 in. (39.2 cm.), W: 10 1/4 in. (26 cm.)
Location The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Credit Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rogers Fund

expert perspective

Patrick HuntDirector of the Stanford Alpine Archaeology Project

Angel of the Revelation

» William Blake (English, 1757–1827)

expert perspective

Patrick Hunt Patrick Hunt Director of the Stanford Alpine Archaeology Project

The value of Blake’s art, while it’s terribly idiosyncratic—while he has an array of symbolism that may be very much individual—on the other part, Blake makes us think as if we are combatants in a giant battle between forces that are hugely beyond our control. With the spiritual and religious evocations of Blake’s art, we see time, eternity, ourselves, we see that there is a lot that is culturally relative. Blake is challenging the boundaries, the expectations wherein we say this is good and this evil. And Blake sort of smears the boundaries. While at the same time Blake is talking about oppositions, he is also erasing before us a lot of the gray areas of morality and religion. Blake is not into formal institutionalized religion whatsoever. He challenges that, as if he were to say—one of Blake’s values is—go beyond religion, deeper to what is truly spiritual.” 

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