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William Blake
Date: English artist and author, 1757–1827
Biography: English poet, painter and printmaker (1757-1827). Early training through apprenticeship to an engraver. Entered Royal Academy in 1779 although he rebelled against the fashionable style promoted there; an attitude shared with his friends John Flaxman, Thomas Stothard and George Cumberland. Published his first collection of poems in 1783. Opened a print shop with James Parkeer in 1784. Best known for relief etching which he employed to produce most of his illuminated books.