Blake, William

(1757-1827)
   Poet and painter, b. in London, was from earliest youth a seer of visions and a dreamer of dreams, seeing "Ezekiel sitting under a green bough," and "a tree full of angels at Peckham," and such he remained to the end of his days. His teeming imagination sought expression both in verse and in drawing, and in his 14th year he was apprenticed to James Basire, an eminent engraver, and thereafter studied at the Royal Academy. Among his chief artistic works were illustrations for Young's Night Thoughts, Blair's Grave, "Spiritual Portraits," and his finest work, "Inventions to the Book of Job," all distinguished by originality and imagination. In literature his Songs of Innocence appeared in 1789, Songs of Experience in 1794. These books were literally made by Blake and his heaven-provided wife; poems and designs alike being engraved on copper by B. and bound by Mrs. B. In like fashion were produced his mystical books, The Book of Thel (1789), The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790), The Gates of Paradise, Visions of the Daughters of Albion, Europe, The Book of Urizen (1794), The Book of Los and The Book of Ahania (1795). His last books were Jerusalem and Milton. His earlier and shorter pieces, e.g. "The Chimney-Sweeper," "Holy Thursday," "The Lamb," "The Sun-flower," "The Tiger," etc., have an exquisite simplicity arising from directness and intensity of feeling--sometimes tender, sometimes sublime--always individual. Latterly he lost himself in clouds of mysticism. A truly pious and loving soul, neglected and misunderstood by the world, but appreciated by an elect few, he led a cheerful and contented life of poverty illumined by visions and celestial inspirations.

Short biographical dictionary of English literature . . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • BLAKE, WILLIAM° — (1757–1827), English poet and engraver. One of the great figures of the English romantic movement, Blake described his poems as prophecies, declaring that his model was the Bible, which he termed the great code of art. The works of Homer and Ovid …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Blake,William — Blake, William. 1757 1827. British poet and artist whose paintings and poetic works, such as Songs of Innocence (1789) and The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (c. 1790), have a mystical, visionary quality. * * * …   Universalium

  • Blake, William — born Nov. 28, 1757, London, Eng. died Aug. 12, 1827, London English poet, painter, engraver, and visionary. Though he did not attend school, he was trained as an engraver at the Royal Academy and opened a print shop in London in 1784. He… …   Universalium

  • Blake, William — (1757–1827)    Artist and Poet.    Blake was trained in London as an engraver. He was the author of a series of volumes of poetry, all of which were illustrated by himself. These included the Songs of Innocence, the Marriage of Heaven and Hell,… …   Who’s Who in Christianity

  • Blake, William — (1757 1827)    A British poet, painter, and printmaker who from childhood onwards experienced * dreams and *visions depicting *apparitions and metaphysical scenes. At the age of4, he claimed to have seen the face of God put his head to the window …   Dictionary of Hallucinations

  • Blake, William — (1757 1827)    London born poet, painter and engraver who had a childhood vision of angels and the prophet Ezekiel. It was possibly this early experience that led him in later life to join the Swedenborgian New Church. He wrote and illuminated… …   British and Irish poets

  • Blake, William — (11/28/1757 London 8/12/1827 London) (England)    Painter, printmaker, poet, and mystic. A major figure in the art of the 18th and 19th century. Much of his work consisted of visionary religious images. Most famous for illustrating the works of… …   Dictionary of erotic artists: painters, sculptors, printmakers, graphic designers and illustrators

  • Blake, William — ► (1757 1827) Pintor, grabador y poeta británico. Es uno de los poetas más representativos del prerromanticismo. Obras: Cantos de inocencia (1789) y Cantos de experiencia (1794). * * * (28 nov. 1757, Londres, Inglaterra–12 ago. 1827, Londres).… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • BLAKE, WILLIAM —    poet, painter, and engraver, born in London, where, with rare intervals, he spent his life a mystic from his very boyhood; apprenticed to an engraver, whom he assisted with his drawings; started on original lines of his own as illustrator of… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • BLAKE, William — (1757 1827)    English poet and MYSTIC whose writings inspired the COUNTER CULTURE of the 1960s …   Concise dictionary of Religion

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