The Dim-Post

June 25, 2009

Picture of the Day

Filed under: painting — danylmc @ 9:24 pm

Ghost of a Flea. Tempera panel with gold on mahogony. William Blake, circa 1819. Held in the Tate Gallery Millbank.

Blake’s friend John Varley was an astrologer; the two men attended a seance together and Varley provides a description of the appearance of the Ghost:

As I was anxious to make the most correct investigation in my power, of the truth of these visions, on hearing of this spiritual apparition of a Flea, I asked him if he could draw for me the resemblance of what he saw: he instantly said, ‘I see him now before me.’ I therefore gave him paper and a pencil with which he drew the portrait… I felt convinced by his mode of proceeding, that he had a real image before him, for he left off, and began on another part of the paper, to make a separate drawing of the mouth of the Flea, which the spirit having opened, he was prevented from proceeding with the first sketch, till he had closed it


  1. Isn’t that Rodney Hide after a long-distance swimming event?

    Comment by Vibenna — June 25, 2009 @ 10:48 pm

  2. looks more like DPF.

    I can’t fathom that last sentence –

    “I felt convinced…”

    the painting suggests still being haunted by arbitrary and meaningless desires even after death.

    Comment by Neil — June 26, 2009 @ 12:47 am

  3. The face fits (disturbingly well), but DPF couldn’t dream of muscle definition like that.

    Blake was ahead of his time by a couple of hundred years. I used to think he was a poet first and foremost, but his paintings are great.

    Allen Ginsberg used to think he had some sort of psychic connection to Blake and you can see why.

    Comment by Guy Smiley — June 26, 2009 @ 5:02 am

  4. Michael Jackson dead….

    You have to post on that.

    Comment by insider — June 26, 2009 @ 12:49 pm

  5. Johnny Depp played William Blake in a movie, once. Not this Blake, though.

    Insider, MJ is NOT dead: Lisa Marie finally convince him to go into hiding with her dad, in Hawaii.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — June 26, 2009 @ 1:18 pm

  6. Thats where John Key’s waife has been all this time! (the picture not hawaii)

    Comment by Liam — June 29, 2009 @ 8:48 am

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