Art can never exist without naked beauty displayed.

Happy Birthday William Blake

William Blake (28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827) was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. During his lifetime, and for half a century afterwards, his work was largely disregarded or even derided as the work of a madman. Today Blake’s work is considered seminal in the history of both poetry and the visual arts of the Romantic Age. Blake’s prophetic poetry is often considered to be the writings of extraordinary originality and genius. Though he is now considered to have been a spiritual visionary of the Romantic age, his work has been said to form “what is in proportion to its merits the least read body of poetry in the English language”. His visual artistry has led one modern critic to proclaim him “far and away the greatest artist Britain has ever produced”. Born inside London, Blake spent the entire course of his life, save for three years, inside the city.His creative vision, however, engendered a diverse and symbolically rich corpus, which embraced ‘imagination’ as “the body of God”,or “Human existence itself”.

Considered mad for his idiosyncratic views by contemporaries, later criticism holds Blake in high regard for his expressiveness and creativity, as well as the philosophical and mystical undercurrents within his work. His paintings and poetry have been characterized as part of both the Romantic movement and “Pre-Romantic”, for its large appearance in the 18th century. Reverent of the Bible but hostile to the Church of England, Blake was influenced by the ideals and ambitions of the French and American revolutions, as well as by such thinkers as Jacob Boehme and Emanuel Swedenborg.

Despite these known influences, the singularity of Blake’s work make him difficult to classify. The 19th century scholar William Rossetti characterised Blake as a “glorious luminary,” and as “a man not forestalled by predecessors, nor to be classed with contemporaries, nor to be replaced by known or readily surmisable successor.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Blake

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