Happy Birthday William Blake!! An English painter and poet, born in 1757, William Blake was a formative figure of Romanticism. At an early age it is reported that Blake saw visions. This coupled with the fact that he showed promise as an artist, Blake did not attend conventional school, but was educated at home and began studying art at age 10. Shortly thereafter he began to write poetry. He was inspired by Greek and Roman mythology as well as the work of Raphael, Durer and Michelangelo. He created engravings to illustrate his poetry ans the work of others. The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed with the Sun is included today.