Biography – William Blake
William Blake was born on the 28th of November 1757 in the Soho district of London. He was the third of seven children in his family, two of whom died at young age. James Blake, William’s father worked as a hosier. William Blake attended school till the age of ten, he was then educated by his mother Catherine Wright Armitage Blake. Throughout William’s childhood the bible had a big influence on him and was his main source of inspiration. He began to have an interest in art, especially drawing. His parents knew that he had the mind of an artist as he was bright and his headstrong temperament and they enrolled him into drawing classes where he focussed on the subjects he had most interest in. During his time at school he made explorations in poetry and began to have an interest in it. He continued working hard at his talent at the Henry Pars Drawing School.
On August 4th 1772 Blake became an apprentice to James Basire who was an engraver of Great Queen Street. After seven years of working for Basire, at the age of 21 Blake became a professional engraver and after two years of working hard he was sent to Westminster Abbey where he was able to improve and form his artistic style and ideas. In 1782 Blake met Catherine Boucher and later that year they got married in St. Mary’s Church in Battersea. Not long later, in addition to teaching Catherine to read and write, William began to train her as an engraver and she became of great assistance to him. In 1783 William printed his first collection of poems including ‘poetical sketches’ and ‘songs of innocence.’ Later that year Blake’s father passed away and not long after his fellow apprentice James Parker opened a print shop in 1784 and in that same year Blake also composed his unfinished manuscript ‘An island to the Moon’ and illustrated Mary Wollstonecraft’s ‘Original Stories from Real Life.’
At the age of 31, 1788 William Blake began to experiment with the technique relief etching also known...