Future Exhibition

William Blake: Prophet against Empire

11.10.2023 - 19.11.2023

Art Exchange

admission free

A visionary artist and poet, William Blake (1757-1827) created some of the most iconic images in British Art. This exhibition focuses on the critical stance he took against the Age of the Enlightenment with its emphasis on science and reason.

Admired for his originality and spirituality, William Blake responded to the tumultuous times he was living through as he witnessed the expansion of the British Empire, American Independence and the French Revolution. He created imaginative images and texts that resonated with this changing world. Drawing on his deeply felt religious beliefs, Blake criticised empire, slavery and social inequality through his work. Instead, he created an alternative universe that celebrates the imagination and communal kindness, where we can also rekindle our connection with the world around us.

This exhibition draws on the Albert Sloman Library’s extraordinary collection of facsimiles of William Blake’s books and prints.

Curated by Adhithi Ravikumar, MA Curating, School of Philosophical, Historical and Interdisciplinary Studies.

You can also read Adhithi’s guide to the show

We would like to thank the Bean Trust for their generous support of this exhibition.

Image: William Blake, Los and Enitharmon, Plate 100, ‘Jerusalem’, 1804-1821