William Blake

William Blake

William Blake (1757-1827)

Is now considered one of the most influential, leading figures of the Romantic movement.

William Blake was born in London 1757 to a working class family of religious dissenters (dissenters in that they did not conform to the church-approved interpretations of the Bible).

The Bible was a strong influence throughout Blake’s life, and he first began experiencing religious visions as a child, stating that he saw angels and the face of God. While deeply religious in his Christian faith, he nevertheless detested the Church and institutionalized religion as a whole. This suspicion of institutions translates well throughout his works, where he consistently addresses issues of inequality and the prisons such institutions create.

Largely educated at home, Blake’s artistic abilities were clear by an early age, and he was apprenticed to an engraver for seven years. He later opened his own engraving shop with his wife, Catherine, and continued producing various works of art along with his poetry.

“Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History.” William Blake (1757–1827). N.p., n.d. Web. 1 May 2014. <http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/blke/hd_blke.htm>.