Great and marvellous are thy works...
July 12, 2007 9:51 PM   Subscribe

The Book of Job, as illustrated by William Blake, in high resolution. He was 68 when he finished it in 1826, but died the following year before he could finish giving Dante's "Inferno" the same treatment. (Complete Blake Archive.)
posted by hermitosis (25 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
Is it just me, or is this an illustration of Mathowie running Metafilter? I'll leave it to your imagination to name all the users visible.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:56 PM on July 12, 2007

Beautiful. thanks.
posted by hortense at 10:03 PM on July 12, 2007

Oh yeah, well this is me, running this thread!

Go on, just curse Mathowie, and all the hurting will end...
posted by hermitosis at 10:04 PM on July 12, 2007

posted by IronLizard at 10:05 PM on July 12, 2007

blue_beetle, impossible. Not one of them is wearing pants.
posted by luftmensch at 10:06 PM on July 12, 2007

Love it. Thanks hermie.
posted by piratebowling at 10:09 PM on July 12, 2007

posted by hermitosis at 10:10 PM on July 12, 2007

The Book of Job in animation. Very accurate.
posted by McLir at 10:11 PM on July 12, 2007

Thank you, lovely - bookmarked, favorited.
posted by fingerbang at 10:11 PM on July 12, 2007

Yes, McLir.
posted by hermitosis at 10:13 PM on July 12, 2007

awesome find
posted by Dreamghost at 11:49 PM on July 12, 2007

I found that archive not long ago, it is truly awesome. Great post.
posted by cardamine at 1:57 AM on July 13, 2007

I had a building job one summer in Peckham, and would eat my lunch with my back resting on the trunk of the tree on Peckham Rye where Blake was supposed to have seen the angels.
That was one of my favourite things about those years in London; surrounded by all that history. Blake was one of those greats where you'd keep coming across locations associated with him. I'd read Ackroyd's biography, so when I had another job up near Old Street I knew to go and sit by his grave in the Dissenter's plot at Bunhill Fields. Or you'd pass the blue plaque that marked the house he was born in crawling home from a drunk down in Soho. Then of course there was the Blake room at the Tate.
Excuse the ramble, great post!
posted by Abiezer at 2:11 AM on July 13, 2007 [2 favorites]

wow, thats extraordinary.

I once downloaded a scan of Blake's (now what the fuck was the famous one you know [after very long trawl through various harddrives] Songs of Innocence and Experience, and it was fucking shit, you couldn't read the text for all the pixellating. But this, this is infinitely better and its on the net
posted by criticalbill at 2:16 AM on July 13, 2007

Ye gods, Blake was an amazing illustrator. Way ahead of his time. Or maybe, not really suited to any time. I can't honestly say I love his work, but I'm always really, really impressed by it.
posted by lodurr at 5:26 AM on July 13, 2007

Thank you! I will add this to my collection of interpretations of and variations on the Book of Job.
posted by fuse theorem at 6:03 AM on July 13, 2007

Nice find. Thanks. =)
posted by rmmcclay at 6:19 AM on July 13, 2007

I have a copy of this in book form, fuse theorem, but it's just the plates with no color. Still pretty great though.

So, I just went to Amazon to get the link for you, and discovered that they're selling it for $41.55. Holy cow, I found mine for $6 at a used book shop!
posted by hermitosis at 6:26 AM on July 13, 2007

As an atheist I must confess Blake has a knack for making Christianity truly beautiful. It's a shame his works (outside of that damned tyger) are largely neglected.
posted by mek at 6:26 AM on July 13, 2007

Part of what makes his Christianity so beautiful is his contempt for the forces that corrupted it and his modest hope that he could somehow correct that wrong. I have been reading his The Book of Urizen over and over for two years; it's Blake's creation myth, a sort of gnostic meta-myth that acts as a Kevlar wrapper for the Book of Genesis to protect people from its muddled message.
posted by hermitosis at 6:59 AM on July 13, 2007

For more insight on Blake one has to have a read of Frye's Fearful Symmetry. An outstanding work and the foundation for Frye's later critical universe.
posted by juiceCake at 7:09 AM on July 13, 2007

great post
posted by caddis at 8:22 AM on July 13, 2007

I knew I'd seen this, or something like it, before. Kinda.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:59 AM on July 13, 2007

Lodurr, if you think his illustrations are way ahead of his time, you should try his writing! Joyce? Burroughs? Amateurs.
posted by Squid Voltaire at 2:03 PM on July 13, 2007

I haven't read a ton of Blake, but I've read enough to understand what you mean, and I suppose you're right. But it seems to me that in another sense, he was very much of his time, in the sense that he reflected the bleeding edge of the era's thought and was taken very seriously by his peers. True, he prefigured later mystics, but he also drew heavily on Swedenborg.

My sense (happy to have someone who knows more about this correct me) was that he wasn't precisely ignored in his time, but was nowhere near as influential in popular culture as, say, Shelley or Byron. So you've definitely got a point, there.
posted by lodurr at 4:46 AM on July 14, 2007

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