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Word Count: 776
To some people William Blake is just an ordinary man To others Blake is an English poet painter and engraver Blake was born on November 28 1757 in London where he spent most of his life He was the third of five children in his family Blakes family was Nonconformists Protestant dissenters from the Church of England They had Blake christened on December 11 at St Jamess Church in Piccadilly Blakes mother educated him in mere reading and writing and he worked in a shop until the age of 14 His family ran this shop and later his brother and he acquired the store through inheritance Despite those misgivings he taught himself Latin Greek Hebrew French and Italian His English was to be often strikingly original through other peoples eyes In 1767 he wanted to become an artist at the young age of 10 In pursuit of this dream he attended the Henry Pars Engraving School in the Strand By 1772 he was an apprentice to an engraver James Basire who taught him the secrets of the trade very well Basire sent him to make drawings of the sculptures in Westminster Abbey which sparked his interest in Gothic art Blakes father was a hosier and sent him to the Royal Academy in 1779 as an engraving student While at school Blake absorbed the religious symbolism and linear design characteristic of Gothic style While studying there he rebelled against the academic conventions of Sir Joshua Reynolds president of the academy Contrary to modern standards he decided to follow the footsteps of the world-renowned artist Michelangelo and Raphael instead Throughout his life Blake made his money engraving things but lived in mass poverty On August 18 1782 Blake married a poor illiterate girl Catherine Boucher Some believe she turned out to be the best companion Blake could have chosen Blake and Catherine never had children In 1784 Blakes father passed away after he started his own printing
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