William Blake cover

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William Blake

English Romantic poet and artist

1757   -   1827

movement: Romanticism
country of citizenship: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Kingdom of Great Britain
educated at: Royal Academy Schools, Henry Pars Drawing School
occupation: painter, poet, writer, theologian, collector, engraver
student of: Henry Pars, James Basire, George Michael Moser, James Barry
influenced by: Mary Wollstonecraft, Dante Alighieri, Emmanuel Swedenborg, Ben Jonson, Jakob Böhme, John Milton, William Pars, James Barry

William Blake (28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827) was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age. What he called his prophetic works were said by 20th-century critic Northrop Frye to form "what is in proportion to its merits the least read body of poetry in the English language". His visual artistry led 21st-century critic Jonathan Jones to proclaim him "far and away the greatest artist Britain has ever produced". In 2002, Blake was placed at number 38 in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons. Although he lived in London his entire life, except for three years spent in Felpham, he produced a diverse and symbolically rich œuvre, which embraced the imagination as "the body of God" or "human existence itself".Although Blake was considered mad by contemporaries for his idiosyncratic views, he is held in high regard by later critics for his expressiveness and creativity, and for the philosophical and mystical undercurrents within his work. His paintings and poetry have been characterised as part of the Romantic movement and as "Pre-Romantic". A committed Christian who was hostile to the Church of England (indeed, to almost all forms of organised religion), Blake was influenced by the ideals and ambitions of the French and American Revolutions. Though later he rejected many of these political beliefs, he maintained an amiable relationship with the political activist Thomas Paine; he was also influenced by thinkers such as Emanuel Swedenborg. Despite these known influences, the singularity of Blake's work makes him difficult to classify. The 19th-century scholar William Rossetti characterised him as a "glorious luminary", and "a man not forestalled by predecessors, nor to be classed with contemporaries, nor to be replaced by known or readily surmisable successors".
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works

25

The Book of Urizen

book by William Blake

author: William Blake

1793

Introduction

poem by William Blake

author: William Blake

1788

All Religions are One

series of philosophical aphorisms by William Blake

author: William Blake

America, a Prophecy

book by William Blake

author: William Blake

1792

Descriptive Catalogue

exhibition catalogue by William Blake

author: William Blake

1809

Europe, a Prophecy

1794 prophetic book by the British poet and illustrator William Blake, engraved on 18 plates

author: William Blake

1793

Milton

poem by William Blake

author: William Blake

1804

Poetical Sketches

collection of poetry by William Blake

author: William Blake

1782

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