Course for secondary students: Word and Image: invention, illustration and inscription in the work of William Blake

  • Naomi Billingsley (Other)

Activity: Internal positions, career professional development and otherOtherResearch


This course was designed as part of the Brilliant Club's Scholar's Programme, in which PhD students and ECRs deliver research-led courses to secondary school students.

My course introduces pupils to some of the key methods for understanding figurative works of art (i.e. art which contains recognisable representations of its subjects rather than abstract forms) through the work of a famous British artist – William Blake. Blake is probably more famous now as a poet than as a visual artist, and his interest in the written word is important for understanding his visual art. The relationships between texts and images in his work is the main focus of this course.

The course helps students to develop visual reading skills, and to apply analytical skills to works of art and literary texts. The final assignment asks students to provide a detailed reading of one or more of the works of art discussed during the course.

This course was devised and taught as a placement with the Brilliant Club in Spring 2016 for KS4 students, but it could be adapted for other levels and contexts.
Held atThe Brilliant Club, United Kingdom


  • William Blake
  • Poetry
  • Print Culture
  • Illustration
  • Romanticism
  • British Art