William Blake’s print, The Ancient of Days, was created in 1794 as the front cover of his book, Europe, a Prophecy. The print depicts Urizen, a god-like character, holding a compass over a dark void surrounded by a cloud-like background. Through this artwork, Blake showcases his use of mythology in his works and his belief in God as an architect who created the world.
Blake was an English poet, painter, and printmaker widely regarded as a major figure of the Romantic age. He first studied art at Henry Pars’ drawing academy, and his unique approach to art was considered madness by the art world of his day. Despite this, Blake’s images have become iconic in British cultural history, and The Ancient of Days is among his most celebrated works.
Blake created the image based on a vision he claimed to have seen over a staircase while living in Lambeth. The Ancient of Days remains a powerful representation of Blake’s ideas of the divine and the creative force behind the world. Through this artwork, Blake has left a legacy that continues to inspire and captivate art enthusiasts worldwide.