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Blake’s Hebrew Calligraphy

Abraham Samuel Shiff

Abstract


The exhibition at the Morgan Library and Museum of William Blake’s World: “A New Heaven Is Begun” (Sept. 2009–Jan. 2010) provided an opportunity to examine closely Blake’s Hebrew calligraphy. Three works in the exhibition (see illus. 2.1, 3.1, and 3.6) contain errors in forming Hebrew characters; some are deliberate to create clever visual illusions.

For clarity, several conventions are adopted for this article:
1. Images: Items from the Morgan are cited by accession number, and if exhibited also by exhibition number. The exhibited images are viewable on the museum’s web site <http://www.themorgan.org/collections/works/blake >.
2. Hebrew alphabet: For the convenience of readers without any knowledge of Hebrew, a numeric code is used (see table 1).


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