Pushkin State Museum of Fine Art Opens William Blake and British Visionary Art

The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Art presents William Blake and British Visionary Art an exhibition on view at the museum from November 29th through February 19th 2012.

William Blake Pit, circa 1795, Tate collection

This is the first major exhibition to present Blake’s visual art in Russia as well as being the first exhibition to explore Blake and his legacy. The exhibition is a collaborative project between the Tate and the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Art in partnership with the British Council.Drawn mainly from Tate’s Collection alongside works generously lent from other British collections, the exhibition consists of approximately 110 of Blake’s works, including many of his best known images such as The Ghost of a Flea c.1819-20. It also includes the recently discovered hand-coloured etchings from the major prophetic work The First Book of Urizen 1796 c.1818.

Although mainly overlooked during his lifetime, Blake’s impact and influence on later generations of artists, writers and musicians has been enormous. His visionary ideas, and his ability to convey these in both poetry and painting, remain a major reference point in British culture today and this show aims to reveal his remarkable art and its visual legacy to a Russian audience. The expression of spiritual values through bodily form is the hallmark of Blake’s visionary art and came to influence both the Symbolist art of the later nineteenth century and the neo-romantic revival of the 1930s. Many of the artists associated with these movements saw Blake as a pioneer in imagining infinite possibilities for sensory and spiritual experience. His work has been a reference point for artists nationally and internationally and this exhibition will include over twenty works by British artists who have been influenced by Blake including Samuel Palmer, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Piper and Francis Bacon.

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