Biography of William Blake

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William Blake not only a poet, but he was also a painter, engraver, printmaker, and most notably a visionary. Largely unrecognized during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a key figure in the history of both the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age. His visual artistry has led one contemporary art critic to proclaim him "far and away the greatest artist Britain has ever produced". Although he lived in London his entire life except for three years spent in Felpham, he produced a diverse and symbolically rich collection, which embraced the imagination. William William Blake and his works have been extensively discussed and criticized over the twentieth and now this century, however previous to that he was barely known. (Poethunter) Born on 28th November 1757 in Soho in London, he had a grounded and happy upbringing. As a young boy he had a vision revealing angels in the trees. These returned t his life, leaving a profound mark on his poetry and outlook. Blake was first educated at home, chiefly by his mother. Blake remained very close to his mother and wrote much of his poetry about her. Poems such as Cradle Song illustrate Blake’s fond memories for his upbringing by his mother (Pettinger, Tejvan). Although always a well read and intelligent man, Blake left his home schooling and attended the Henry Pars Drawing Academy for five years. The artists he admired as a child included Raphael, Michelangelo, Giulio, Romano and Dürer. He started writing poetry at the age of twelve and in 1783 his friends paid for his first collection of verses to be printed, which was entitled “Poetical Sketches” and is now seen as a major poetical event of the 18th century. Despite his obvious talents as a poet, his official profession was as an engraver because he could not afford to do a painter’s apprenticeship and therefore began his apprenticeship with the engraver James Basire in 1772. After completing his apprenticeship six years later, he joined the Royal Academy of...
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