Blake's Laoco÷n

Blake's etching is magnificent, but it's hard to read the text in the best copy I can find online. So here it is. (The text is sometimes presented dynamically at Nelson Hilton's home page too.)


If Morality was Christianity, Socrates was the Savior.

Art Degraded, Imagination Denied, War Governed the Nations.

Spiritual War: Israel deliver'd from Egypt, is Art deliver'd from Nature and Imitation.

Hebrew Art is called sin by the Deist Science.


Where any view of Money exists, Art cannot be carried on, but War only (Read Matthew, c. x: 9 & 10 v.) by pretenses to the Two Impossibilities, Chastity & Abstinence, Gods of the Heathen.

The True Christian Charity not dependent on Money (the life's blood of poor families), that is, on Caesar or Empire or Natural Religion: Money, which is The Great Satan or Reason, the Root of Good & Evil In the Accusation of Sin.

Good & Evil are Riches & Poverty, a Tree of Misery, propagating Generation and Death.


A Poet a Painter a Musician an Architect: the Man Or Woman who is not one of these is not a Christian.

The Unproductive Man is not a Christian, much less the Destroyer.

You must leave Fathers & Mothers & Houses & Lands if they stand in the way of Art.

Prayer is the study of Art.
Praise is the Practice of Art.
Fasting &c., all relate to Art.
The outward Ceremony is Antichrist.

The Eternal Body of Man is the Imagination, that is,

{God himself}
{the Divine Body}
Jesus: we are his Members.
It manifests itself in his Works of Art (In Eternity All is Vision).

All that we See is Vision, from Generated Organs gone as soon as come, Permanent in The Imagination, Consider'd as Nothing by the Natural Man.


For every Pleasure Money is useless.

Without Unceasing Practice nothing can be done. Practice is Art. If you leave off you are Lost.

Jesus & his Apostles & Disciples were all Artists. Their Works were destroy'd by the Seven Angels of the Seven Churches in Asia, Antichrist Science.

The Old & New Testaments are the Great Code of Art.

Art is the Tree of Life.
Science is the Tree of Death.

The Gods of Priam are the Cherubim of Moses & Solomon
The Hosts of Heaven

The Gods of Greece & Egypt were Mathematical Diagrams
See Plato's Works

There are States in which all Visionary Men are accounted Mad Men such are Greece & Rome
Such is Empire or Tax See Luke Ch 2 v I

The Whole Business of Man Is The Arts, & All Things Common. No Secresy in Art.

Christianity is Art & not Money. Money is its Curse.


Is not every Vice possible to Man described in the Bible openly?

Art can never exist without Naked Beauty display'd.

All is not Sin that Satan calls so: all the Loves & Graces of Eternity.


There is a wonderful essay with fabulous and apt illustrative graphics that deals with the Laoco÷n. It is called The Bounding Line: Verbal and Visual Linearity in Blake's "Laoco÷n" and Book of Urizen. Here are some lines from The Book of Urizen, here is a bit about the original statue of Laoco÷n, and here is a bit of more Blake himself.
Go to home thoughts, Blake links, or Mr. Blake and me.