Blake seeks to provide the Golden String which can lead us through the labyrinth of our experience or his own poetry.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

MEDITATIONS Epitome of James Hervey’s ‘Meditations among the Tombs’
Date c.1820–5

For his friend Thomas Butts, Blake painted a picture which is similar to his pictures of the Last Judgment in that he includes numerous figures to represent a vision of history from Adam to the Apocalypse. This watercolor is named The Epitome of Hervey's Meditations among the Tombs and derived from James Hervey's book. This image provides a useful guide to identifying figures in other versions of the creation, fall and return, because Blake put names on the individuals or states which they represent.   

Inscriptions, (E 691)
[On Blake's Epitome of Hervey's Meditations among the Tombs] 
[Reading from left to right, bottom to top]
"Babe   Widow   Father   Baptism.   Hervey   Angel of Death  
Virgin   Wife   Old Age   Infancy   Husband   Angel of Providence 
 Guardian Angel   Child   Angel of Death   Mother   Where is your
Father   The Lost Child   Sophronia died in Childbed   She died
on the Wedding Day   Orphan   Moses   Elias   JESUS   David  
Solomon   Protecting Angel   Aaron   Abraham believed God   These
died for love   Ministering Angels   Mother of Leah & Rachel  
Mother of Rebecca   Recording Angels   Protecting Angel   Orphans 
 NOAH   Enoch   Cain   Serpent   Abel   Eve   Adam   God out of
Christ is a Consuming Fire  
In Jerusalem Blake includes Hervey among five historical persons who guard the Gate of Los which leads to Beulah. Blake has named five of the 'gentle Souls' from history to look after those who descend to the Vegetated Earth to live in a mortal body.
Jerusalem, Plate 72, (E 227)
"And the Four Gates of Los surround the Universe Within and       
Without; & whatever is visible in the Vegetable Earth, the same
Is visible in the Mundane Shell; reversd in mountain & vale
And a Son of Eden was set over each Daughter of Beulah to guard
In Albions Tomb the wondrous Creation: & the Four-fold Gate
Towards Beulah is to the South. Fenelon, Guion, Teresa,    
Whitefield & Hervey, guard that Gate; with all the gentle Souls
Who guide the great Wine-press of Love; Four precious stones that Gate:
Plate 73
Such are Cathedrons golden Halls: in the City of Golgonooza"

Greater detail can be studied by linking to the image in the Tate Gallery. 

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