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World's largest William Blake gallery to open in San Francisco
William Blake. Blake’s Illustrations of Dante. Plate 1: “The Circle of the Lustful: Paolo and Francesca” US: 1954 Large folio, fine, clear uniform impression on hand-made paper with no watermark, inscribed in pencil by Lessing Rosenwald.


SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- Widely considered to be one of the greatest contributors to the Western world of literature and art, William Blake’s lifetime of otherworldly work was motivated by mystic visions and spiritual revelations. Creating hundreds of artworks -- from engraved illustrations and illuminated books to original writings and watercolors -- his deeply unique style remains endlessly enigmatic and highly sought after. Favored by an eclectic groups of fans and collectors, Blake remains one of the only seminal Romantic artists whose work is still occasionally available to collect.

After 50 years in the booktrade and 43 years operating John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller, longtime rare book dealer, John Windle, will launch his retrospective of the artist in October, 2016, within San Francisco’s historic 49 Geary building. The first physical space exclusively dedicated to Blake's work in over two hundred years, The William Blake Gallery will display over 1,000 original blake pieces alongside thousands of reproductions of the artist’s own writings and artwork, most notably:

• Illustrations to Dante’s Inferno, Earliest known proof set, Seven plates and oblong folio, printed on laid paper

• The Complaint of Job, 1785, Monochrome wash drawing

• Songs of Innocence: “Holy Thursday”, 1789, Single sheet, printed in black, matted

• Plates from the final lifetime printing of The Gates of Paradise

• The Virgin Hushing, 1799, Tempera on paper

Of the decision to open a gallery of William Blake’s works, John Windle remarks: “I must be stark raving mad. Like Blake.”

John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller offers an exceptional selection of rare books and manuscripts from medieval times through the twentieth century. Located in downtown San Francisco, the shop specializes in medieval illuminated and text manuscripts, illustrated books and fine bindings from the 15th through the 20th century, and children's books from 1750 to 1950. They have served an international clientele of private collectors, libraries, and institutions for over 40 years.





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