The Visionary Company: Blake’s Contemporaries and Followers
Although often considered an artist toiling in isolation and ignored by an unappreciative audience, William Blake was very much a part of the intellectual and artistic milieu of London at the end of the eighteenth century. As a complement to the major Blake exhibition that was simultaneously on view in the third-floor gallery, this display assembled approximately sixty works from the Center’s collection by the artists with whom Blake most closely associated. Magnificent drawings by Henry Fuseli, John Flaxman, and James Barry provided the context for appreciating both the sources for and the uniqueness of Blake’s visual imagery and ideas. The profound impact of that vision on the subsequent generation, in particular the group of younger artists who supported Blake in his last years, were traced in a comprehensive selection of drawings, watercolors, and engravings by Samuel Palmer, Edward Calvery, George Richmond, and John Linnell. This exhibition was organized by Jessica Smith, a doctoral candidate in the History of Art at Yale.