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William Blake

Poet / Artist

Born: 28 November 1757
Died: 12 August 1827
Birthplace: London, England
Best known as: Mystic English poet
William Blake started writing poems as a boy, many of them inspired by religious visions. Apprenticed to an engraver as a young man, Blake learned skills that allowed him to put his poems and drawings together on etchings, and he began to publish his own work. Throughout his life he survived on small commissions, never gaining much attention from the London art world. His paintings were rejected by the public (he was called a "lunatic" for his imaginative work), but he had a profound influence on Romanticism as a literary movement.

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