The NGV has a large and internationally significant collection of William Blake's work, a collection that has not been on display for 14 years. He produced approximately 300 works during his life time and the NGV owns 103 examples of these.
He was producing his works before photography was invented. Although not popular during his life time his work has grown much more popular over time and it has developed a very wide audience and popular appeal.
[ADVERT]The current exhibiting showcases the NGV holdings. It comprises essentially two rooms or spaces. Examples of his art is hung on the walls and there are two large touch screens that show holdings of other Blake works that help enrich the exhibition.
There is an original large book open and displayed under glass showing a sample of his early work in bound form. There is also a huge round "sofa" that has audio/ipad stations where you can don the earphones and watch the iPad screen to learn more about the printing process.
Those unfamiliar with Blake's work (including me) will be surprised at the inclusion of two Australian etchings that were commissioned by John Hunt, who arrived in Australia in 1788 with the first fleet and on returning to England in 1792, commissioned Blake to illustrate his journal.
And here I was thinking that "William Blake" was just a poet, I still have a lot to learn!
There is something for everyone in this exhibition, and it's free. Make sure you get along there to see these extraordinary works before they go away again and we may not see them for another 14 years.