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William Blake’s Universe

23 February – 19 May 2024

Discover William Blake’s universe and a constellation of European artists seeking spirituality in their lives and art in response to war, revolution and political turbulence.

Sometimes seen as an eccentric figure or lone genius, William Blake’s Universe is the first exhibition to explore Blake’s boundless imagination in the context of wider trends and themes in European art including romanticism, mysticism and ideas of spiritual regeneration.

This timely new exhibition brings together the largest-ever display of works by the radical British artist, printmaker and poet from our own collection, alongside artworks by his European contemporaries such as the German romantic painters Philipp Otto Runge and Caspar David Friedrich – many of which have never been displayed publicly in the UK until now.

Though these artists never met or connected in their lifetimes, Blake, Runge and Friedrich shared a strong sense of individuality and an unwavering belief in the power of art to redeem a society in crisis.

Exhibition in partnership with Hamburger Kunsthalle, Germany.

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Image: Detail of William Blake, America: A Prophecy, Plate 12, ‘Thus Wept the Angel Voice...,’ c. 1793-1821 © The Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge.

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