Beatrice Addressing Dante from the Car William Blake Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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The painting, Beatrice Addressing Dante From the Car, is a part of the illustration of Dantes Divine comedy. It was done between 1824 and 1827. The medium used is ink and watercolor on paper.

The artwork was an integration or writing and painting in a single process. The paint combines wrought, Miltonic style with grand, gothic themes. The technique used is illuminating painting while the medium is ink and water color. The paint was done between 1824 and 1827. In the work, Beatrice Addressing Dante From the Car, there are several human-like and also animal figures symbolizing different things. One figure is like that of Dante finally meeting the love of his life, Beatrice, who is probably the crowed female figure on a chariot, in the picture. She is also the central figure in William Blake's work for the poem of The Divine Comedy.

Worried that Dante might have gone astray after Beatrice's death, it's her who sent Virgil to guide him through hell and purgatory so that they could finally meet. The rich and bright colors used in the paint depict Dante's delight of reuniting with Beatrice. The style used in Beatrice Addressing Dante From the Car is romanticism and a lot of symbolism as can be seen in the paint. Beatrice is seen with four apostles represented here by Blake through biblical symbolism: Luke represented by an ox, John as an eagle while Matthew resembling Christ. The colors used in the picture were natural promoting the idea there is beauty in the natural world. Blakes work was influenced by ideas and ambitions of the French and American revolutions.

Also, Emanuel Swedenborg, who was a critical thinker, profoundly impacted on Blake's work. Thomas Pine, who was an apolitical activist and a friend of Blake also had an influence on William's art. Most of his inspiration was also drawn form the bible. Among the people who were inspired by Blake's poet and painting are Walt Whitman, W.B Yeats, Allen Ginsberg, and musician Bob Dylan. However, his legacy extends even in today's popular culture, art, literature, music, and the film industry. Other popular works by William Blake include Songs on innocence (1794), The marriage of heaven and hell, Pity (1795) and The ancient days (1794).