A compelling and complex mind
The show tells a story of Blake's life that appeals to our own moment
When William Blake’s paintings were exhibited above his family’s Soho shop in 1809, attendance was dire, he sold nothing, and the only review was critical. Now, Tate Britain is shining fresh light on the visual art of one Britain’s most revered creative visionaries.
Profoundly influenced by the spiritual visions he began experiencing at the age of four, Blake expressed his original, often radical, ideas through engravings, art and poetry. During his lifetime, his talents went largely unrecognised, but since his death in 1827 his creations – such as The Tyger, And did those feet in ancient time, Newton and The Ancient of Days – have become recognised as seminal works of the Romantic Age.
William Blake at Tate Britain is the largest display of Blake’s art seen in a generation. Over 300 original works on display include an immersive recreation of that infamous Soho exhibition and several huge digital projections of paintings Blake himself dreamed of creating on an enormous scale. As well as illuminating William Blake’s paintings and prints, the vital role of his wife Catherine is also brought to the fore for the first time.
11 September 2019 - 2 February 2020
More from the season