This week with a splash of early Romanticism! 🙂
To Generalize is to be an Idiot
– W. Blake
Mister William Blake (1757-1827) was a British painter and poet, an interesting figure of the mature Pre-Romanticism and the young Romanticism. Left school at the age of 10, pursued certain artistic interests, but managed to quarrel with all of his ‘masters’. He developed a very interesting style, both in painting and poetry, marked by a poignant naivety (stylistically speaking, not ideologically) and his themes evolved from the countryside and the misery of the poor to representations of a peculiar mythology that he had made up as some sort of double to the Bible. People back then said he’d gone crazy, people now admire his creative freedom.
The painting today is Oberon, Titania and Puck with Fairies Dancing (c. 1786)
(i apologize for the small size, wordpress says it’s either this or you just see half of it. feel free to google it and find a better version)
It’s a watercolour work, and I’m sure what I said earlier about ‘naivety’ is quite obvious here. The faces especially are nothing special, but the atmosphere, the composition and the white ethereal bodies are quite beautiful. You can almost see them spinning.
And, as this is inspired by Shakespeare, I couldn’t possibly skip the opportunity to quote him a little. Forgive me for taking things out of context and butchering it a little at the end, but I couldn’t possibly quote the whole thing.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act V
Enter OBERON and TITANIA with their train
Through the house give gathering light,
By the dead and drowsy fire:
Every elf and fairy sprite
Hop as light as bird from brier;
And this ditty, after me,
Sing, and dance it trippingly.
First, rehearse your song by rote
To each word a warbling note:
Hand in hand, with fairy grace,
Will we sing, and bless this place.
Song and dance
Now, until the break of day,
Through this house each fairy stray.
To the best bride-bed will we,
Which by us shall blessed be;
And the issue there create
Ever shall be fortunate.
So shall all the couples three
Ever true in loving be;
And the blots of Nature’s hand
Shall not in their issue stand;
Never mole, hare lip, nor scar,
Nor mark prodigious, such as are
Despised in nativity,
Shall upon their children be.
With this field-dew consecrate,
Every fairy take his gait;
And each several chamber bless,
Through this palace, with sweet peace;
And the owner of it blest
Ever shall in safety rest.
Trip away; make no stay;
Meet me all by break of day.
Exeunt OBERON, TITANIA, and train
If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber’d here
While these visions did appear.