William Blake was born on November 28, 1757 in London, England and early on began experiencing visions of angels and ghosts and said he talked to the Virgin Mary, angel Gabriel and historical figures. He said he saw God "put his head to the window."
He began studying engraving at the age of 14 and studied briefly at the Royal Academy. He became a engraver, painter and poet. Blake engraved and published his own works, which included "The Grave", "The Tyger", "America", "The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell" and "Prophetic Books." Blakes paintings were small scale and his engravings are only a few inches in height, but amazingly detailed, exact and painstakingly realistic in their representation of human anatomy.
Blake was always struggling with proverty and only made a meager living engraving and illustrating. He was not able compete in the highly-competitive field of engraving, due to his advanced invention which designed and printed words at the same time . Some called his works "HIDEOUS" and others called him "INSANE."
Blake was a total NON-CONFORMIST and ANTI-ESTABLISHMENT thinker, who associated with radical thinkers like THOMAS PAINE (one of the Founding Fathers of the United States) and was opposed to the English Monarchy and social tyranny. Among Blake's last works were illustrations for Dante's "Divine Comedy" and 21 illustrations to the book of Job.
On August 12, 1827, William Blake died and was buried in an unmarked grave at the public cemetery of Bunhill Fields. William Blake was largely MISUNDERSTOOD and IGNORED for being ECCENTRIC and a LUNATIC in his lifetime. After Blakes death, his poem "Milton" was put to music and became a kind of Christian anthem of the English in the 20th Century.
TODAY William Blake is regarded as a GENIUS ARTIST and POET. Recently discovered Blake illustrations for "THE GRAVE" are to be auctioned off for the estimated price of $12-17 MILLION DOLLARS at SOTHEBYS in Spring 2006.