William Blake

The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

 
 

A Limited Edition of all 27 plates of William Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell printed by Michael Phillips.

 
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Plate 14. “printing in the infernal method”

 
 

Blake produced only nine copies of The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, his most iconoclastic work. Here are the ‘Proverbs of Hell’ – ‘Damn, braces: Bless, relaxes’ ‘No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings’ – more than 70 in all that are as challenging today as they were more than 200 years ago. While, on Plate 14, the significance of Blake’s invention of  ‘printing in the infernal method’ is famously described, by relief etching, ‘melting apparent surfaces away,’ the ‘doors of perception’ will be cleansed, revealing to man ‘the infinite which was hid.’  Appositely, the plate that follows describes a ‘Printing House in Hell.’ 

Arguably, The Marriage is Blake’s best known and most frequently quoted work. Yet in its original form it is one of the rarest. Here, for the first time, by faithfully re-creating Blake’s processes, replicas of all 27 relief-etched copper plates have been made, so that impressions can be printed exactly like those Blake printed himself. 

The edition is limited to 20 sets. Each of the 27 plates is printed in monochrome in one of the colours of ink that Blake specially mixed to print the first copies, including brick red, charcoal black, yellow ochre, gamboge, charcoal green and raw umber. Examples of all 27 plates may be seen below.

Included in each set is a bound pamphlet printed in letterpress describing how the replica relief-etched copper plates were made and the impressions printed. The colophon notes the number of the set and that the letterpress has been set in Bell types and hand-printed by Paul W. Nash at the Strawberry Press, Moreton-in-Marsh. 

Because of fluctuations in the exchange rate, please contact Michael for a quotation. 

In format, the Limited Edition of The Marriage of Heaven and Hell matches that of the Limited Edition of 41 plates of the Songs of Innocence and of Experience, also available. These will be followed by sets of eight plates each from America a ProphecyEurope a Prophecy and finally Jerusalem, to be presented in the same way.

Individual plates of The Marriage, or sets of plates, for example, of the ‘Proverbs of Hell,’ may also be ordered separately and printed to order. 


 
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Click images to enlarge


27 Plates of the Limited Edition

1. Title page, 156 x 105 mm
2. The Argument, 153 x 107 mm
3. As a new heaven is begun, 158 x 112 mm
4. The Voice of the Devil, 137 x 107 mm
5. Those who restrain desire, 152 x 109 mm
6. -ah fell. & formed a heaven, 154 x 103 mm
7. Proverbs of Hell, 157 x 109 mm
8. Proverbs of Hell, 156 x 107 mm
9. Proverbs of Hell, 155 x 106 mm
10. Proverbs of Hell, 156 x 104 mm
11. The Ancient Poets, 152 x 103 mm
12. A Memorable Fancy, 155 x 107 mm
13. would at last be proved, 153 x 110 mm
14. The ancient tradition (printing in the infernal method), 154 x 105 mm

15. A Memorable Fancy (I was in a Printing house in Hell), 158 x 103 mm
16. The Giants who formed this world, 168 x 106 mm
17. to reconcile them seeks to destroy existence, 167 x 105 mm
18. root of an oak he was suspended, 159 x 106 mm
19. us with all the fury of a spiritual existence, 166 x 104 mm
20. number of monkeys, baboons, & all of that species, 148 x 107 mm
21. I have always found that Angels, 156 x 104 mm
22. one on earth that ever broke a net, 153 x 111 mm
23. greatest men best, 153 x 106 mm
24. -pulse: not from rules. (One Law for the Lion & Ox is Oppression), 154 x 112 mm
25. A Song of Liberty, 146 x 113 mm
26. hurld the new born wonder, 150 x 108 mm
27. he promulgates his ten commands, 154 x 110 mm