Printmaker, visionary artist and poet, William Blake was born and lived in London. Blake's prolific artwork went largely unnoted during his lifetime and indeed he was one of the first unrecognized geniuses of his time. Envisaging both poetry and the visual arts as part of his singlular prophetic purpose to express eternal truths, (the only valid justification for true art, according to Blake) he created a mythological and deeply religious personal artistic style.
Initially trained as an apprentice engraver, Blake continued to engrave commercially throughout his life in order to make a living. Simultaneously working fervently on his own, he produced countless works that are now much famed, such as his books of poetry that he both wrote and illustrated like 'The Songs of Innocence and Experience' (1784 and 1789), and 'The Marriage of Heaven and Hell' 1790-3.