Blake’s Illuminated Printing
The William Blake Archive is pleased to announce the publication of “Illuminated Printing.” It joins our profusely illustrated Biography, Chronology, and Glossary in the “About Blake” section, off the Table of Contents page. The essay was first published in The Cambridge Companion to William Blake, edited by Morris Eaves, 2003. It is republished here by permission of Cambridge University Press. While the text remains the same, the electronic version has 95 illustrations versus 9 in the printed version. The illustrations demonstrate in detail the stages of both Blake’s relief etching (“illuminated printing”) and conventional intaglio etching according to the six Chambers in the Printing house in Hell, from Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. The comparison of these two methods of etching will help reveal what was borrowed, altered, invented, and radical in Blake’s new mode of graphic production. The illustrations, which are linked to enlargements that have detailed captions, supplement the text but also function autonomously as slide shows on the technical and aesthetic contexts in which illuminated printing was invented, and as tutorials in the production of engravings, etchings, and relief etchings.