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William Blake discovery goes on show

[William Blake]

Poet and artist - William Blake (1757-1827)

The Book of Job will be the star attraction of a show featuring 30 or so Blake etchings and engravings and works by artists and designers who were influenced by him.

‘Burning Bright’, which also features Virgil’s Pastorals, is the product of work by students working with University of Manchester art historian and acclaimed Blake expert Dr Colin Trodd.

Other highlights of the exhibition include an exquisitely hand-coloured copy of Young’s Night Thoughts.

John Rylands Library archivist Stella Halkyard said: "Because of their dispersal across our collections, many of these works had previously lain undetected.

“The students had some specialist training in identifying prints from David Morris at the Whitworth Art Gallery before they began their search for Blake in the Rylands.

“They found out we actually have a large number of his commercial engravings in our 18th and 19th century book collections.

“Too often we undervalue Blake’s exceptional talents as a commercial engraver so it is rare to showcase so many of these engravings together in one place. This display is an opportunity to celebrate the richness of this aspect of his work.

‘Burning Bright’ also explores the creative impact of Blake’s work, his influence on other writers and artists, and the shaping of his posthumous artistic reputation.

As inspiration is a major theme of ‘Burning Bright’, visitors are being encouraged to respond to the exhibition by producing poems and drawings of their own which will be displayed in the Library.


The Blake exhibition ‘Burning Bright’: William Blake and Art of the Book runs at The John Rylands Library from February 8 - June 23. Admission is free.

Find out more and download an exhibition booklet.

Updated: Thu, Feb 7, 2013