Tag Archive: God


This might be a pretty late post on this topic.

I remembered that in class we talked about Blake’s reception and I raised the example that even English teacher in a good high school is reading the famous picture of Urizen in The Ancient of Days as God the Almighty. And Urizen’s act of systemizing and confining the human race is read as the creation of human.

It really strikes me when I again see this image with a  incorrect annotation during summer. I received a book from my teacher in China and was asked to change them into some SAT writing materials. The name of the Book is the Art of Being Human. In the chapter of Religion in Themes in the Humanities, the author uses Urizen as the preface to the chapter.

“An artist visualizes God the Almighty as described in the Hebrew bible.”
William Blake, The Ancient of Days 1794.

It brought me back to the beginning of the lesson when we saw how Urizen appears in the entrance of GE building.

People thought that’s God.

Poetic Genius and Religion

Blake’s Philosophy of Art is impossible to seperate from his philosophy on religion. We know from our reading thus far that the poetic genius is a key part of the artistic process for Blake. But it is difficult for us to understand exactly what this genius entails. I don’t propose to be able to answer that question, but I do think that any full answer is going to contain some element of the divine. Blake has said how visions are of infinite importance to the artist. Because the visions are so critical, their source must be equally critical to our lives. I believe that the only possible source that would hold that level of importance to Blake is the divine. There must be some overlap between poetic genius and God.