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Print made by William Blake, 1757–1827

America. A Prophecy, Plate 1, Frontispiece

Part Of:

Collective Title: America. A Prophecy, Bentley Copy M

Color-printed relief etching in brown ink, with watercolor and pen and black ink on moderately thick, slightly textured, cream wove paper
Sheet: 14 1/2 x 10 1/2 inches (36.8 x 26.7 cm), Plate: 9 1/4 x 6 5/8 inches (23.5 x 16.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Prints and Drawings
Subject Terms:
cannon | chains | children | clouds | men | night | nudes | religious and mythological subject | shackles | stones | women
Accessible by appointment in the Study Room [Request]
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IIIF Manifest:

At the height of the political and social upheaval of the French Revolution, William Blake printed his first full-scale prophetic book, America. A Prophecy. Rather than recounting the horrors that reverberated from France throughout Europe, his illustrated poem reflects on the revolutionary spirit in the American colonies, which had ended in American independence a decade earlier. Blake and many other radicals in the 1790s viewed the American Revolution as the beginning of a global process of liberating nations from superstition and despotism. Although America. A Prophecy is rooted in recent events, the text and accompanying plates do not offer a historical chronology but rather transform history into a mythical narrative of universal relevance.

Gallery label for the Critique of Reason: Romantic Art (Yale Center for British Art, 2015-03-06 - 2015-07-26)

William Blake - The Artist (Tate Britain, 2019-09-11 - 2020-02-20) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

The Critique of Reason : Romantic Art, 1760–1860 (Yale University Art Gallery, 2015-03-06 - 2015-07-26) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

The Human Form Divine - William Blake from the Paul Mellon Collection (Yale Center for British Art, 1997-04-02 - 1997-07-06) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

William Blake - His Art & Times (Art Gallery of Ontario, 1982-12-03 - 1983-02-06) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

William Blake - His Art & Times (Yale Center for British Art, 1982-09-15 - 1982-11-14) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

William Blake, Libros profe´ticos, vol. 1, Atalanta, Vilau¨r, Spain, 2013, p. 196, PR4142 .S35 2013 [ORBIS]

William Blake : Visionary, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, p. 116, pl. 72, NJ18.B57 A12 2020 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

William Blake, Tate Publishing, London, p. 69, cat. 44, NJ18.B57 M97 2019 (LC) Oversize (YCBA) [YCBA]

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