The Book of Urizen was originally engraved in 1794 as The First Book of Urizen, for a projected series of works expressing Blakes idiosyncratic cosmogony. Only a handful of copies are known to have been completed, and only one of these was executed later in the artists career (ca. 1818). That copy, reproduced with unequaled detail and accuracy in this Octavo Edition, uses masterly techniques of coloring to produce in many instances what are virtually original paintings, highlighted in liquid gold. Blakes painstaking technique transforms the relatively flat picture surface of the original engravings into a dazzling epic in miniature that combines his bardic verse with otherworldly imagery to recount as never before the origins of human experience.
Commentary by Nicolas Barker, searchable transcription.