The sixth of Blake’s illustrations to Thornton’s ‘Pastorals of Virgil’.
They were the only wood engravings Blake ever made. This wood engraving is in the 1863 publication by Alexander Gilchrist ‘The Life of William Blake’, published in 1863. They are made from the original 1821 block stated in the book to be printed from the original wood blocks from 1821.
William Blake is a unique figure in British art: painter, printmaker, illustrator, poet, and radical thinker. In 1820 the artist John Linnell secured a commission for Blake to illustrate Robert Thornton’s Pastorals of Virgil. The images were made as wood engravings and the results, became a critical influence on the visionary landscapes of Samuel Palmer who was entranced by the ‘visions of little dells, and nooks, and corners of paradise’.