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Blake image

William Blake (1757–1827)
A Cradle Song from Songs of Innocence
London: The Author & Printer W. Blake, 1789
Bequest of Tessie Jones in memory of her father, Herschel V. Jones, 1968
PML 58636
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Songs of Innocence is one of Blake's earliest illuminated books, printed by a relief etching process of his own invention. His novel printing methods assured the artistic integrity of his work, giving him complete control over the production of his limited editions and the configuration of word and image, rendered in the same medium to form an inspired synthesis of his visionary ideas. Twenty-six copies survive. One of sixteen printed in yellow ochre and raw sienna about 1789, this copy was hand-colored by Blake around 1794 for his friends Anna and John Flaxman, a prominent sculptor and illustrator who shared some of his stylistic traits and artistic views.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.