Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Songs of Innocence: Frontispiece

Artist:
William Blake (British, London 1757–1827 London)
Date:
ca. 1825
Medium:
Relief etching printed in orange-brown ink and hand-colored with watercolor and gold
Dimensions:
sheet: 6 3/16 x 5 9/16 in. (15.7 x 14.1 cm)
Classification:
Prints
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1917
Accession Number:
17.10.2
Not on view
This frontispiece to Songs of Innocence illustrates Blake's "Introduction," a poem that casts the poet as a wandering piper inspired by the vision of a divine child:

Piping down the valleys wild,
Piping songs of pleasant glee,
On a cloud I saw a child,
And he laughing said to me

"Pipe a song about a Lamb!"
So I piped with merry cheer . . .

"Piper, sit thee down and write
In a book, that all may read."
So he vanished from my sight;
And I plucked a hollow reed,

And I made a rural pen,
And I stained the water clear,
And I wrote my happy songs
Every child may joy to hear.
Tate Britain, London. "William Blake," November 9, 2000–February 11, 2001.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "William Blake," March 29, 2001–June 24, 2001.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," April 10, 2006–July 9, 2006.

Bindman 1978.215; Binyon 1926.181
Laurence Binyon The Engraved Designs of William Blake. London, 1926, cat. no. 181.

David Bindman, Deirdre Toomey The Complete Graphic Works of William Blake. London and New York, 1978, Copy Y, cat. no. 215, ill.



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