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About the book:

William Blake: The Painter at Work offers an innovative and revealing approach to one of the most individual of all British artists. Although the highly idiosyncratic nature of Blake's techniques has long been recognized, this is the first book to explore the practical methods behind his unique style--providing a fuller understanding of exactly how this secretive artist worked as a painter.

Richly illustrated with Blake's temperas, watercolors, and color prints and drawings, the book includes essays by leading international authorities who illuminate Blake's techniques and materials using up-to-the-minute research methods. Their analysis of numerous individual works reveals, for example, that Blake used essentially the same range of colors in them all, even if some of the more than 100 temperas he painted from 1799 to 1826 have since darkened or faded.

The book consists of four main sections. Introductory chapters are followed by essays on Blake's watercolors, large color prints, and temperas. An epilogue discusses the presentation of the paintings, and appendices provide more detail on the works discussed. The contributors are John Anderson, Peter Bower, Noa Cahaner McManus, John Dean, Robin Hamlyn, Bronwyn Ormsby, Brian Singer, Joyce H. Townsend, and Piers Townshend.

William Blake: The Painter at Work not only casts new light on the incomparable oeuvre that made Blake one of the most perennially popular of visual artists but also points to ways of preserving this work for future generations. There are still unanswered questions, but now there are answers too.

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