Monday, April 16, 2007

IN THE PAPERS / The first of two major exhibitions celebrates Blake, the anti-slavery artist. But was he really? asks Laura Cumming in The Guardian

Of human bondage

Mind-Forg'd Madness: William Blake and Slavery
Ferens Gallery, Hull; until 20 May, then Glasgow and Manchester

Freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom from orthodox religion, the right to roam, the right to go without clothes - William Blake, who represents them all, is art's original free spirit. He is against mind-forg'd manacles and the tyranny of Reason. He is against dark, satanic mills and conventional marriage. He may be a libertarian or he may be a hippy, but even those who can't summon one of his proverbial images to mind - God in his chariot of fire, Newton doing his maths at the bottom of the ink-blue sea - know that Blake, in life as in art, is a freedom-loving idealist.

Laura Cumming's article continues here

Did you see it? What did you think?

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