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Death of the Virgin
The Ancient of Days
Death on a Pale Horse
The Great Red Dragon
and the Woman Clothed in Sun
William Blake was born on 28 November, 1757, in London, England. Young William was prone
to fantastic visions, including seeing God, and angels in a tree. He would later claim that he
had regular conversations with his deceased brother Robert. It was soon apparent that Blakes
internal world of imagination would be a prime motivator throughout his life. Noting something
special in their son the Blakes were highly supportive of and encouraged his artistic
creativity and thus began his education and development as an artist.He had early
shown an interest in and aptitude for drawing, so, at the age of ten Blake entered Henry
Pars drawing school. Then, at the age of fourteen Blake started a seven year apprenticeship
with engraver James Basire, the official engraver to the Society of Antiquaries.
Blake attending the Royal Academy under Sir Joshua Reynolds.
He developed mythic creatures inspired by Greek and Roman mythology including Los,
who represents the poetic imagination; Albion, who represents England; and Orc,who
embodies youthful rebelliousness. His illustrations for the Bibles Book of Revelations
include The Great Red Dragon (Satan) made famous most recently in Thomas Harris
novel Red Dragon (1981). While Blake lived the majority of his life in London, he exerted
a profound impact on future poets, artists, writers, and musicians the world over.