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British, 18th – 19th century, male.

Born 28 November 1757, in London, United Kingdom; died 12 August 1827, in London.

Painter, draughtsman, engraver, illustrator, poet. Religious subjects, figure compositions.

William Blake was the son of a draper. He showed a strong artistic tendency from an early age and, at the age of 10, started to study drawing at Henry Par’s Academy in the Strand. He learnt engraving under Ryland and was then apprenticed to James Basire. During his seven years with Basire (1772–1779), Blake was made to copy the sculptures of Westminster Abbey and of London’s old churches, thus stimulating his fascination with Gothic art. He studied briefly at the Royal Academy in 1779, where he made friends with Barry, Fuseli, Mortimer, Flaxman, and Stodhart. While there, his studies concentrated on Michelangelo....

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Ryōkan  

Cecil H. Uyehara

(b Echigo Prov. [now Niigata Prefect.], 1758; d 1831).

Japanese Zen monk, calligrapher and poet. He became a monk at the age of 18 at the temple Kōshōji, Okayama Prefecture, but, being a wanderer for most of his life, never attained high monastic rank. He is known for his poetry in Japanese and Chinese and his individualistic, indeed idiosyncratic, swiftly brushed style of calligraphy and is one of the most respected calligraphers of the late Edo period, receiving more attention and study than his contemporaries Maki Ryōko and Ichikawa Beian. His modern popularity has given rise to an increasing number of Ryōkan forgeries. Most of his extant calligraphies consist of letters and poems in his own hand, much of the subject-matter deriving from his everyday experiences, as for example the letter brushed in ink on paper between 1806 and 1810 (Tokyo, N. Mus.). Ryōkan studied the 100-character text by the Chinese calligrapher Huaisu, the calligraphy of the legendary 4th-century ...