William Blake had his first vision at age 10 — a tree full of angels. Artistically precocious, Blake spent his youth at Henry Pars's drawing school, copying the human figure from plaster casts of ancient statues. As a teenager, Blake was apprenticed with an engraver, and tasked with drawing the tombs and monuments at Westminster Abbey, a gothic experience that colored his world in metaphysical hues.
Blake lived his whole life at very the edge of the spiritual plane. His wife Catherine joined him in his search for visions, working by his side he founded a successful print shop, pioneered a new form of color printing, and built a new religion for himself out of anti-enlightenment thinking, Swedenborgian Christianity and Greek and Norse mythologies.