Sample Art paper on The Ancient One: William Blake

Sample Art paper on The Ancient One: William Blake


William Blake’s picture, “The Ancient of Days” clearly depicts the image of an overall powerful being enshrouded in mystery. The ancient of days, as represented in the drawing by William Blake is a human person devoid of any covering. However, the overall covering that clothes the space within which the ancient of days exists creates immense mystery and incapability      of being pierced by anything. Besides the seemingly walled enclosure, the Ancient of days is also within a surrounding of darkness that may be taken to imply that the world and all in it is dark. The ancient of days himself is shown in a crouched position, one knee on the ground on which he sits and the other folded upwards. As his eyes look deep and piercing, it seems that the ancient of days can clearly see through the darkness that is the world. Moreover, he uses his hands to send forth seeming rays of light in a powerful move of outstretching. Besides the rays emanating from the hand, the area within which the ancient of days’ sits is also indicative of strong light and fire. This could be taken from the perspective of the book of Daniel in which the ancient of days is supposed to be seated upon a fiery flame. The rays from the middle of the sitting area illuminate the entire surrounding in all directions.



The portrayal given by William Blake in ‘The Ancient of Days’ are clearly in line with the information provided in the text book concerning Romanticism and Realism in art production. For instance, the juxtaposition of light and darkness in the picture shows the relevance of God in human life. Figures of art like imagery are prevalent in showing the superiority of Romanticism over the more conventional neoclassical approaches to art. Through the textbook, another crucial piece of information collected is on the differences between realism, neoclassicism and romanticism in the production of acceptable and appealing pieces of art. Through the textbook, it clearly comes to mind how important it is for artists to use a combination of paradigms to ensure that the pieces they produce are among pieces whose impacts are considered indelible in the mind of the viewer.


William Blake, through various pieces that he made, managed to create this long-lasting impact among his viewers. This explains why he still remains a laudable artist through the years as well as why most of his works are still on display in different reputable galleries and museums across the world today. In an article by McQueen obtained from, William Blake’s “The Ancient One” is still cognizable as one of the most influential pieces of art in the spiritual realm. The author suggests that William managed to attract his viewers not only through appealing to their visual powers but also to their spiritual beliefs and concerns. The ancient one, depicted as an old bearded man who embodies both reason and law. This is also an indication of how the ancient one ensnares the conventional society in law.


Contemporary Culture

The image by William Blake still stands out in the contemporary times due to many reasons. From the juxtaposition created through effective use of style, it can be deduced that the image not only portrayed the role of the ancient one in illuminating the world but also purposes to indicate how the world has opposed the light of the ancient one through its incessant maintenance of dark tendencies. This explains why the picture has continued to be a favorite of artists through the decades. It also purposes to indicate the overall power of the ancient one as in the past and in the present days. Similarly, the image below portrays a deep contrast similar to that displayed in the Ancient One. The use of light and dark colors adds to the impact of the overriding figure of the ancient one. Tilda Swinton intended to portray immortality of the ancient one through the ‘Doctor Strange’s’ image. The impact is similar to that of William Blake’s painting.


Tilda Swinton: Doctor Strange’s. Retrieved from:

Work Cited

McQueen, Clara. The Ancient One by William Blake. Serving House Journal 9, (2014). Available at: