William Blake Exhibition at Petworth House


Blake's Cottage, FelphamWilliam Blake Exhibition at Petworth House – Open 13 January – 25 March 2018 at Petworth, William Blake in Sussex: Visions of Albion offers a rare opportunity to see original works by Blake inspired by the Sussex coast and countryside re-united for the first time.

Why not visit Petworth House to see the new and exciting William Blake exhibition at Petworth House, featuring Elizabeth Iliffe, the wife of the 3rd Earl of Egremont, and records from the Petworth House Archive.

The exhibition includes loans from the British Museum, the Fitzwilliam, the Victoria and Albert Museum and other collections of paintings, drawings, letters, and rare surviving copies of books which Blake intended as money making ventures. As ever in his life, these turned into financial disasters.

He is now revered as one of the greatest figures in literary and artistic history but was a shabby and eccentric figure during his Sussex years. In a portrait by Thomas Phillips, on loan from the National Portrait Gallery, the artist had to lend Blake good clothes, and could only persuade him to sit still by getting him to tell the story of how he was introduced to Milton by Michaelangelo and the Angel Gabriel.

‘Visions of Albion’

Celebrating Blake’s three years living in Sussex between 1800 and 1803, this unique exhibition features over 50 loans from such prestigious collections as the British Museum, V&A and Tate. These are complemented by works from the Petworth collection acquired by George Wyndham, the 3rd Earl of Egremont and his estranged Countess, Elizabeth Ilive.

Sussex remains the only area outside of London where Blake ever lived, settling with his wife in a cottage in Felpham, which he described as ‘the sweetest spot on Earth’. It is here that Blake saw ‘Visions of Albion’, surrounded by the Sussex coast and countryside that would continue to inspire his work.

This exhibition is the first to re-unite these works and nowhere could be more fitting than Petworth, the only great English country house to hold major paintings by the artist.

Staying at Spring Cottage soon? There are many and varied attractions close by, starting planning your visit now!