Songs of innocence.

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Accession number: 
PML 58636
Blake, William, 1757-1827.
[London] : The Author & Printer W Blake, 1789.
[17] leaves : ill. (relief printed etchings, watercolor) ; 17 cm.
Bequest of Tessie Jones in memory of her father, Herschel V. Jones, 1968.

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.


Date from Viscomi's Blake, p. 250.
This is copy D, complete with 31 illustrations on 17 leaves: (Keynes' numbers) 1, 2, 3, 10-11, 28, 29-30, 31, 9, 8, 4, 5-7, 22, 23, 14, 15, 16-17, 20, 21, 12, 13, 18-19, 24, 25-26, 27.
Printed text and outlines in yellow ochre and raw sienna; watercolor added by hand.
Assembled and colored by Blake for John Flaxman (see Viscomi, p. 298).

Citron morocco, inlaid with red and green morocco, gold-tooled, with dentelles, by F. Bedford; in an olive morocco case.
Formerly owned by John Flaxman; his wife Anna Flaxman (signature); John Pearson; Herschel V Jones; his daughter Tessie Jones.