The Union of the Soul with God
The painting by William Blake that I chose is the Union of the Soul with God.
The first thing that I immediately noticed is that the “union of the soul” is between a man and a woman. Blake seems so obsessed over the Adam and Eve theory and incorporates it in much of his work. Here, we see an older, stronger man, who is clearly supposed to represent God. He is seen embracing a young woman, holding her close to him. My next observation is that it appears that they are in a cave, or somewhere that is relatively isolated. I feel that this was done to make it a more peaceful scene. No one else can be seen, no signs of other nature, no other signs of life.
There is an excerpt on the top of the painting that ends with “The End of the Song of Jerusalem”. It helps paint the picture (no pun intended) that this painting is about the end, but that one should embrace it – that you should be in sync with what God has in store for you in a later life.
God in this painting also has a “glow” around his head which resembles a crown of thorns, which is also incorporating William Blake’s religious views into the portrait. On top of that, the god has appears to not have legs, and is floating. The real interesting thing about this painting is that instead of legs, the god has, what resembles, a serpent’s tail. In the story of Adam and Eve, the devil comes down as a serpent in an attempt to lure Adam and Eve to eat from the tree in which God had told them specifically not to eat from.
... t she? He argues that since God has given Adam and Eve dominion over everything then surely they should ... that seemingly lead toward the fall of Adam and Eve. Adam is portrayed as a somewhat weak individual ... do not know the true reasons that Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit this work ... outlines the fall of mankind beginning with Adam and Eve. Although Paradise Lost is a work filled ...
Another odd aspect of this painting, going back to the background, is that it takes place in a cave. It’s a dark background with no real color – a particularly odd way of meeting God. Earlier I mentioned that it’s peaceful and serene, but I feel like in this sense, Blake is trying to make it seem like meeting God and being with him really would not be of great importance. He views God as quite bland.
There are many different ways to interpret this painting – but for the most part I am under the impression that Blake really is not all too interested in God and God’s plan for him or mankind. He believes that there is a God and a heaven and hell, but he’s not at all thrilled about it.
Now, the picture seems to represent that you should embrace God, but he also holds one of the signs of the devil. I feel like William Blake is trying to say that God’s plan for you might not necessarily be what you wanted it to be.
This picture also appears to be sexual in a way – almost as if God is seducing the woman in the picture. As mentioned before, the mark of the serpent is usually deceit, so another interpretation of this painting may be that God is trying to coerce or seduce others into believing in him or wanting him, but he is, in fact, no good for anyone at all. I feel Blake is trying to say that God is there to give you hope, to make you feel good, but once it’s time, you will only be disappointed by the result.