A Pretty Epigram

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Blake manuscript - Notebook 1808 - 47-49 Swelld limbs... etc.

Edited text:[1][edit]

A Pretty Epigram for the encouragement of those who have paid great sums in the Venetian and Flemish ooze

NATURE[2] and Art in this together suit:
What is most grand is always most minute.
Rubens thinks tables, chairs and stools are grand,
But Raphael thinks a head, a foot, a hand.


The original text:[3][edit]

A Pretty Epigram for the Entertainment of those who have Paid Great Sums in the Venetian & Flemish Ooze[4]

Nature & Art in this together Suit
What is Most Grand is always most Minute
Rubens thinks Tables Chairs & Stools are Grand
But Rafael thinks A Head a foot a hand



  1. The Poetical Works of William Blake, including the unpublished French Revolution together with the Minor Prophetic Books and Selections from The Four Zoas, Milton & Jerusalem; edited with an introduction and textual notes by John Sampson, Hon. D.Litt. Oxon., 1862–1931. London, New York: Oxford University Press, 1908.
  2. A Pretty Epigram for those who have given high prices for bad pictures MS. 1st rdg. del.
  3. "The Complete Poetry & Prose of William Blake", ed. by David V. Erdman, Anchor Books, 1988, p. 513.
  4. A Pretty Epigram . . . N 38
    Title revised in ms thus: A [Pretty Epigram for <the entertainment of> those who have Given high Prices for Bad Pictures And ?have] Pretty Epigram for [those] the Entertainment of those Who pay] <have Paid> Great Sums in the Venetian & Flemish Ooze

This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.