William Blake Apprentice & MasterBooks
William Blake: Apprentice & Master by Michael Phillips, with essays by Martin Butlin and Colin Harrison Nothing can tell us more about a work of art than the discovery of how it was made. For the same reason biography has an enduring fascination, describing how someone developed and achieved what it is that intrigues us about them. William Blake Apprentice & Master combines both. We see how a number of Blake's works evolved, as he himself did, during the most formative, innovative and inspirational periods in his life. The first period, broadly speaking, is that of Blake's apprenticeship - as a poet and painter as well as engraver. The second concentrates upon the 1790s, a period that saw Blake as master artist-printmaker and technical innovator, painter and revolutionary poet of the prophetic books. Finally the focus turns to the very last years of his life, to the masterpieces that Blake produced in emulation of the artist-printmakers of the early Renaissance, and to the ways in which these same works, enhanced by his presence and friendship, inspired a group of young artists and artist-printmakers known as the Ancients - notably Edward Calvert (b.1799), Samuel Palmer (b.1805) and George Richmond (b.1809).