William Blake

(1757-1827)

     The poet I chose to do for our team project is William Blake. Blake was born November 28, 1757 and died August 12, 1827. Blake was not only an English poet but a visionary, painter, and printmaker. Unfortunately, Blake was not recognized during his lifetime. Today he is known for being on of history's greatest poets, painters, and printmakers.

     Blake was the third son born to his parents Catherine and James Blake. As a young child Blake was known for being very imaginative and having fantastic visions. He claimed to see God and angels in a tree. He also said that he could speak with his deceased brother Robert. Luckily, Blake's parents were very supportive of his artistic views and behaviors, which later was the basis of his great writings, paintings, and prints. At the age of ten his parents entered him into Henry Pars' School of Drawing. At the age of fourteen he began a seven year apprenticeship with engraver James Basire.

     In 1782, Blake married Catherine Sophia Boucher. They never had any children. Blake taught Catherine how to read and write. Catherine worked on many of Blake's writings and paintings with him.

     Before Blake was able to get very many publications he illustrated other authors' works, such as Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Blake continued to work on his writings and paintings. In 1800, Blake moved to Felpham in Sussex. There, he illustrated poetry for William Hayley. From there, he had some ups and downs with his life and works. He continued to work on his personal works. In 1821, he moved to Fountain Court, Strand. He finished Book of Job in 1825. William Blake worked up until the day he died. He died August 12, 1827 at his home. Catherine did not have enough money for a funeral. John Linnell, Blake's last patron, loaned Catherine the money to pay for Blake's funeral. Blake was buried in the Non-Conformist Bunshill Fields in London. Catherine passed away four years later and was buried next to Blake.

Some of William Blake's Famous Works:

 

This piece of artwork to the left is a famous work of Blake's. The archetype of the Creator is a familiar image in his work. Here, Blake depicts his demiurgic figure Urizen stooped in prayer, contemplating the world he has forged. The Song of Los is the third in a series of illuminated books painted by Blake and his wife Catherine, collectively known as the Continental Prophecies.