Pictorial title-page

Pictorial title-page

Celia Levetus

Wood-engraving by Levetus

7¼ x 6 inches

Blake, Songs of Experience, pictorial title

In this dramatic image Levetus deploys a symbolic scene to epitomize the themes of Blake’s series of poems. The aged woman represents the travails of experience which are yet to be encountered by the children, the emblems of innocence. Endowed with wings, she is both the angel of death and a protecting angel, a sort of sacrificial figure who will try to protect the inexperienced; her gesture, touching a child’s head, suggests compassion and invokes Christ’s love. [Commentary continues below.]

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Scanned image and text by Simon Cooke.

[You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the person who scanned the image and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]