Inspired by the combinations of word and image he found in medieval illuminated manuscripts, Blake invented a method he called ‘Illuminated Printing’ that made it possible to print text and image together from the same copper plate in his engraver’s rolling press. The lecture will explain Blake’s invention in the context of conventional illustrated book production, its metaphorical significance, the creation of the illuminated books like the Songs of Innocence and how the further development of colour-printing his images led to the production of the Large Colour Prints or monotypes of 1795, Blake’s supreme achievement as a graphic artist.

About The Academic

Michael Phillips

Michael Phillips taught at Oxford, University College London and Edinburgh University before joining the interdisciplinary Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies at the University of York where he is now an Honorary Fellow. An acknowledged authority on Blake, Michael was also guest curator of the major exhibitions of Blake at Tate Britain, the Petit Palais and most recently, his acclaimed exhibition and catalogue for the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, William Blake Apprentice & Master. He has also trained as a printmaker in order to explore and replicate Blake’s graphic techniques used in producing the illuminated books.