Page:William Blake (Symons).djvu/370

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346
WILLIAM BLAKE

to connect the visible and the invisible world, without provoking probability—and to lead the eye from the milder light of time to the radiations of eternity. Such is the plan and the moral part of the author's invention; the technic part, and the execution of the artist, though to be examined by other principles, and addressed to a narrower circle, equally claim approbation, sometimes excite our wonder, and not seldom our fears, when we see him play on the very verge of legitimate invention; but wildness so picturesque in itself, so often redeemed by taste, simplicity, and elegance—what child of fancy, what artist, would wish to discharge? The groups and single figures, on their own basis, abstracted from the general composition, and considered without attention to the plan, frequently exhibit those genuine and unaffected attitudes, those simple graces, which nature and the heart alone can dictate, and only an eye inspired by both discover. Every class of artists, in every stage of their progress and attainments, from the student to the finished master, and from the contriver of ornament to the painter of history, will here find materials of art, and hints of improvement!'

When it is stated, that the pure-minded Flaxman pointed out to an eminent literary man the obscurity of Blake as a melancholy proof of English apathy towards the grand, the philosophic, or the enthusiastically devotional painter; and that