Although regarded as painter, it has in fact never used of painting strictly speaking, always preferring other means of expression to him. He is the author of a work inspired of biblical visions in prophetic matter. Its hallucinated style is very modern and separately among its pars although its topics are very traditional.
It was wire of a hosier, and, as of childhood, it showed astonishing provisions for the Dessin and the Poésie. It is sent to ten years in an art school, where it will compose its first poems. Become raises of the engraver James Basire at fourteen years, it was charged to draw antiquities of the abbey of Westminster and other old buildings, mediums which did not fail to exert a sharp influence on its Imagination melancholic person. He engraved many illustrations for books according to Stothard and his own drawings. He takes part, in a very impulsive way, with the riots of 1780 front the prison of Newgate, the London bastille. Married in 1783 according to its tastes (he will learn how with his Catherine wife to read, write, and with enluminer its engravings), he thought of returning by the feather and the pencil the visions which haunted its brain. A first opuscule, Poetical Sketches (1783), contains its poetries made up between its twelfth and its twentieth year. Too much poor to face the expenses of impression of its works, it was made its own editor and imagined to apply to it its writing highlighted by the bite to copper plates. It published its Songs thus off Innocence , decorated its drawings (1789, fart. in-8), work singular, which had success, which encouraged it to give successively, in the same form: Books off prophecy (1791); Spoil paradise off (1793); America, has prophecy (1793, in-fol.); Europe, has prophecy (1794, in-fol.); Songs off Experiment (1794). At the same time, it made appear, with several exposures of the royal Academy, of allegorical paintings, historical and religious. It published the Marriage off heaven and hell (in-4), satire of the Heaven and Hell of Swedenborg, in 1790. In 1797, he undertook an edition illustrated by him of the Nuits of Young, whom he left unfinished, then he went to live, with Felpham, near the poet Hayley, making drawings for this one, and painting some portraits, and returned to London only at the end of three years. Its forty drawings engraved by Schiavonetti for an edition of the poem The Grave (1808, gr. in-4) of Blair were very admired; just as its large print the Pilgrimage of Canterbury (1809). Meanwhile, it continued to compose, illustrate and print strange poems, impressed of an obscure mysticism: Jerusalem, the emanation off the Giant Albion ; Milton, has poem (1804); most original Job (1826), etc is the last: it is also that of which engravings are finished. All these volumes today are extremely sought, especially the specimens colored by the artist himself. Blake became member of the Royal Society the May 14th 1807. Its death stops the divine illustration of The comedy (1825-1827) of Dante.
- the film Dead Man of Jim Jarmusch pays homage in several ways to him, in particular by taking for hero a contemporary homonym of William Blake, camped by Johnny Depp (" I amndt William Blake, don' T you know my poetry? "), but also while making meet this one with a solitary Indian admiror of the poet, played by Gary Farmer.
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