Painting the Dream 2

An interesting variety. In both Poetry and Painting it is possible, I think to enjoy without total understanding. The ambiguity of dream symbols adding to their attraction.

The Eclectic Light Company

In the first article of this pair, I looked at some paintings of dreams – as opposed to visions and similar revelatory experiences – from the Renaissance to the early nineteenth century. In these, the convention is to show a composite image including what the dreamer might have seen of their dream had they looked from the position of the viewer, together with the ‘reality’ of the dreamer asleep in the physical world.

blakejacobsladder William Blake (1757–1827), Jacob’s Ladder, or Jacob’s Dream (1799-1806), pen and grey ink and watercolour on paper, 39.8 x 30.6 cm, The British Museum, London. Courtesy of and © Trustees of the British Museum.

William Blake was influenced by Henry Fuseli, and followed his lead with Biblical and literary stories. Jacob’s Ladder, or Jacob’s Dream from 1799-1806 is one of the simplest and most beautiful of Blake’s large output of watercolours, and was painted for his principal…

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