William Blake's London: Drawing and Imagination

‘London was to Blake both home and school, both Pandemonium and Celestial City.’ Kathleen Raine

William Blake had a wholly original mind and is recognised as a unique visionary in the history of art. Blake touches us with a simplicity that is strange. T.S. Eliot said his strangeness was merely a peculiar honesty, which, in a world too frightened to be honest, is peculiarly terrifying. At the heart of his art was the role of the imagination, which he saw as essential to the human condition and personal emancipation. Blake was a Londoner, and many of the sources for his art and places associated with his life are around us in the city. By drawing from his work in London collections and visiting sites connected to his life, as well as contemporary urban settings, we will mix a rich fusion of art history, literature, methodology and observational drawing. We will spend some time exploring the transformative process of drawing that is imprinted in Blake’s work, from observation to imaginative elaboration. We will look at the relationship between text and image in Blake’s poetry, and the integration of his visual and verbal aesthetic.

Full-time BA students studying for a degree in Fine Art receive up to a 75% discount. Those studying on design or applied arts degrees may also be eligible on a case-by-case basis. Student ID and proof of enrollment must be submitted.

Full-time practising fine artists under 40 years of age in need of financial help may apply for a 75% discount on a maximum of two courses; applicants must submit a portfolio of ten drawings and fill in an application form which can be downloaded from the website. Please find the submissions dates here. Please contact the office in advance of submitting your application to reserve a place on your chosen course and check the portfolio submission dates. 

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Individuals on job seekers allowance receive a 50% discount; to apply participants must submit proof that they are currently on the job seekers register.

Postgraduate alumni of the Royal Drawing School receive a 50% discount. 

Individuals who receive disability support are eligible for a 50% discount; to apply participants must submit proof that they are currently receiving this allowance.

Tower Hamlet and Hackney residents are eligible for a 25% discount; to apply participants must show proof of living in these boroughs. 

Individuals over the age of 60 may apply for a 10% discount.

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