Solving the problem of evil in the twenty-first century

Blake’s story of creation

 Book of Urizen

In the Book of Urizen, Blake retells the story of creation, and includes in that telling many engravings.  This, “And left a round globe of blood, Trembling upon the Void” appears to be God’s creation of the world.  God is shown here in the process of forming the world; He is bent over with the colors of creation surrounding Him.  Blake chooses not to depict God’s face, but rather shows Him bent over, with hair streaming down upon His creation.  This flow of hair appears to represent the flow of imagination, and here illustrates the immense possibility which the imagination can provide and its inherent importance in the world’s connection to God.  Blake believed very strongly in the imagination’s abilities and the truths which it could reveal.  Here he depicts the ultimate creation, God’s creation, and he depicts it in such a way as to suggest that the pouring forth of the world came from God’s own imagination.  In addition to this, the strength of God and what seems to be strain with which he uses His strength illustrates the struggle of creation.  By representing this struggle Blake emphasizes the love and interest that God has in His creation.  For Him to bend forth and open his mind upon a newly forming world involves an intricate connection, a deep investment and love in His creation.  Thus this image of God creating the world is also very much a depiction of God’s relationship to it.  The representation of the world flowing from God, whose muscles strain with effort in the process, shows God’s deep involvement in His creation, and by depicting the creation as a continuous flow from God’s imagination Blake illustrates the investment and importance which that creation holds for God.

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4 responses

  1. nickmehendale

    I think what is most interesting about this painting is that it is depicting God, which said to be a perfect and infallible being, struggling in his creation. I think it speaks to the amount of care that Blake believed God felt for his creation (man).

    May 6, 2011 at 11:52 pm

  2. This is a very interesting painting. I agree that this can be interpreted as God showing a lot of care for his creation, but I see something else. I think it looks like God’s hair is almost fused with the world, so I think Blake is not only saying that God cares a lot about his creation, but that God IS a part of his creation. He is a part of the world he created. I think that the reason God’s face isn’t shown is because the face of God (the most important part of God) is his greatest creation, the world and the people in it.

    May 8, 2011 at 10:11 pm

  3. ca9455

    This is a very intriguing painting but would the way God holds his hands in his head have any sort of meaning?

    May 9, 2011 at 6:40 pm

  4. deesdetfc

    This is an interesting painting, I am both compelled and disgusted. The idea of strain confuses me. I don’t think strain is necessary, more a posture than strain. The amount of care I think can be seen in His all-giving nature.

    May 14, 2011 at 9:13 pm

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