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In Ancient of Days, English poet and painter William Blake imagines God the Father mapping out the cosmos with a compass of light and willing the universe into existence. The title "Ancient of Days" is a reference to the Old Testament book of the prophet Daniel, the same passage that Jesus frequently referenced when he referred to himself as the "Son of Man." This piece is said to have been Blake's favorite work; he hand-painted 13 known copies of Ancient of Days, each with slight variations in color and style.
William Blake himself was a tremendously gifted artist - a poet, engraver, printer, and painter - whose passion and desire to seek the face of God was compromised by his brooding cynicism. Thomas Merton called it "the rebellion of the saints," and likened Blake to an irate prophet of the Old Testament for 18th century England. Blake intensely loathed Christian hypocrisy, moralism, and stodginess, and so had an unfortunately adversarial relationship with the Anglican church of his time, and indeed, organized religion in general. Jesus Christ nonetheless fascinated Blake, as did the stories, allegories, and metaphors of Sacred Scripture, and if you gauge the man by the art he created, it appears that Blake spent his entire life attempting to grapple with the mystery and transcendence of God. Those who have had a more docile relationship to the Church and fellow Christians throughout their lives should have compassion on Blake and his unvarnished, wrestling soul, and pray for his repose. Through the mercy of God, may William Blake find peace in the Kingdom that his heart was searching for while on Earth.
Print dimensions are 13"x19"
Image dimensions are 12"x16"
( PRI-4081 )