William Blake was born in 1757 in London. He was encouraged in his artistic ability by his parents, they were mystified by his talent, especially when he would remark on visions he had, one of which he claimed he had seen angels in a tree. From the age of ten, Blake was studying art, and he began at Henry Pars’ Drawing School. From 1771 Blake began a seven year apprenticeship with the engraver James Basire. After this, Blake attended the Royal Academy Schools. In 1780, Blake got an engraver’s job with the publisher Joseph Johnson. His first collection of poetry appeared in 1783. Blake would also illustrate his poems himself, and often illustrating other writer’s work too. For most of his life, Blake would work on his own poetry, meticulously illustrating it, as well as completing other commissions. Blake was working right up to the day he died, his last project was a series of watercolours illustrating Dante’s Divine Comedy. He died in 1787, and his wife Catherine was forced to borrow money to pay for a funeral. He was buried in an unmarked grave in Bunhill Fields. In the 1950s a memorial to Blake and his wife was erected in Poet’s Corner, Westminster Abbey.