The Transfiguration is one of the great forgotten Feast days of the Christian Church but it is also one of the keys to understanding the life and work of William Blake. In a modern exegesis it is the issue of how we show our divinity to others. The event is recounted in the Bible in three of the Gospels (Matthew 17:1-9; Mark 9:2-8; Luke 9:28-36).
Blake created a watercolour of The Transfiguration for his patron Thomas Butts around 1800 that is now in the V&A in London. The Transfiguration also occurs as a detail in the Epitome of James Hervey’s ’Meditations among the Tombs’ c 1825 now in Tate Britain.
This year on the Feast day there will be a conversation into the role and significance of the Transfiguration, looking at the image and its purpose to Blake. And more personally, how a representation of the Transfiguration might appear to an artist today.
This event is one of our occasional series of impromptu conversations exploring a particular element in Blake. In the case of the Transfiguration it resonates with the contemporary mantra that change begins with a conversation you have never had in your life before …
Monday 6 August 2012 at 6.30 pm at The House of William Blake at 17 South Molton Street London W1K 5QT – a few minutes from Bond Street Tube
Booking is essential – places are limited to the number who appeared on the high mountain originally – please email firstname.lastname@example.org
And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only. And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.
Matthew 17:1-9 KJV