William Blake Plate 2 of ‘Urizen’: ‘Teach these Souls to Fly’ ?1796

Artwork details

Artist
William Blake 1757–1827
Title
Plate 2 of ‘Urizen’: ‘Teach these Souls to Fly’
From Urizen
Date ?1796
Medium Relief etching, ink and watercolour on paper
Dimensions Support: 109 x 102 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased 1922
Reference
N03696
On display at Tate Britain

Display caption

This design was made for Blake's poem called The Book of Urizen. The woman
is Enitharmon, who in Blake's mythology symbolises Pity. In Urizen she is made pregnant by Los and 'groaning Produc'd
a man Child to the light.'

 

This child was Orc (symbolising Revolt), who is seen here with his mother. Los
was jealous of his son, and chained Orc
to a mountain. Here Enitharmon seems
to be introducing Orc to the idea of
liberty, before he is finally chained up.

 

September 2002

About this artwork