William Blake

19th century writer and artist William Blake is an influential icon of the Romantic Age. Many know him as a prolific poet, but he also dabbled in painting. Most of his paintings are overtly religious, in which he is not only glorifying holy scenes, but also condemning them; one of his most notable painting is Jacob’s Ladder. Born in Soho, London, to a married couple of Dissenters, Blake first picked up a paintbrush at 14. He attended drawing school and became an apprentice to an engraver. He proceeded to the Royal Academy, but like many artists, he disagreed with its traditional views, so his time there was brief. Blake opened a print shop which ultimately failed, so he became a fulltime engraver and illustrator. His wife, forever faithful and loyal, helped Blake print his poetry. His works, whether written or painted, portray profound expression, corruption, and repression, but also unyielding vigor and ambition.

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