William Blake, a noted artist, print maker, and poet who was born in 1757 in London, England, has never seen the tarot cards inspired by his life, thoughts and work. The William Blake Tarot of the Creative Imagination deck was inspired by and reproduces William Blake’s paintings and relief etchings, painted in the Classical style. Each tarot card depicts a collage work based on William Blake’s art.
When William Blake was 27 years old in 1784, he left the Royal Academy to pursue his style of art. Before entering the Royal Academy, William Blake had been an apprentice to an engraver and was already a professional engraver when he entered the school. At the Royal Academy, William Blake was not enthusiastic about the popular oil paintings of the day because of their lack of realism.
The artist’s work caught the notice of a founding member of the National Gallery. From there, the artist published a book of political poetry. With his brother, William started a print shop in 1784. William Blake was associated with other important intellectual minds of the era, including Thomas Paine, William Wordsworth, and Mary Wollstonecraft. William Blake believed that women should be allowed to reach self-fulfillment in their lives, not a greatly popular view at the time.
By 1788, William Blake was using relief etching for illustrations. These relief etchings were an excellent medium for the realism that William Blake sought to express in his art. The relief etching process involves making cuts into a metal plate that is then used to create prints. William Blake taught his wife Catherine to be an engraver so that she could help him to print his work. William Blake received much support from his wife throughout out his life.
William Blake was an active artist and writer. He produced illuminated books, books, poetry, and prints. Some of his work was thought of as too outrageous after his death and subsequently, destroyed by fire on purpose. This happened because William Blake had the courage to approach subjects considered too controversial for other artists, such as politics, sex, and religion. His work is now revered for its exquisite beauty and adherence to truth as he understood it.
His last works were based on Dante’s Inferno. William Blake continued working on the project on the day of his death with his faithful wife by his side. Only seven engravings were ready for print at his death. Some watercolors were done as well.
Ed Buryn, the talent behind The William Blake Tarot Of The Creative Imagination, uses entirely new suits in his tarot deck. Instead of the traditional minor arcana suits of wands, swords, pentacles and cups, Ed Buryn has designated these suits as science, painting, poetry and music. For the major arcana, Ed Buryn created collages based on Blake’s Book of Job illustrations. The court cards of the William Blake Tarot deck are designated as the angel, child, woman and man instead of the traditional king, queen, knight, and page. Ed Buryn has managed to instill both the artwork and the accompanying text with William Blake’s philosophy on spirituality.
The tarot cards, based on William Blake’s work, are in color, with 78 cards in the deck. The William Blake deck has an interpretive guide that is well suited for creative minds because the cards give in-depth original advice. The William Blake card interpretations are greatly valued for their tremendous insight into encouraging the creative process.
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