Some (i’m tempted to say ‘all’) of the feeling of ‘something’s not right’ when you look at these passionate works disappears when you flip the designs horizontally. A friend of mine admitted to a similar feeling recently, it got me thinking.
Apparently it is quite well possible that Blake’s printing process required the drawings to be mirrored in the end-result. You can’t really imagine Blake designing them explicetly in mirror view, coding letters like Leonardo, ok that may well be, but the pictorial elements?
Most of the ‘awkardness’ , i presume, has to do with a disturbance in the temporal order, which for most of us westeners, has a built up from left to right, hence we think accordingly, that is to say our visual movements all develop from left to right, hence we design from left to right.
Once you grow accustomed to the inversion, ofcourse, all the effect of it dissipates, Blake himself wouldn’t have noticed anymore what was ‘wrong’ with the designs, and all of his commentators too distracted by their splendor and originality to notice or mention the obvious.