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Wanna come up and see William Blake's long-lost etchings?

January 22, 2013|By Carolyn Kellogg
  • An example of art by William Blake: His 1795 painting "Newton," from Mordechai Feingold's book "The Newtonian Moment."
An example of art by William Blake: His 1795 painting "Newton,"… (The New York Public Library/Oxford…)

Long-lost etchings by writer William Blake have been discovered in a library in Manchester, England. The Romantic poet and author was also a talented artist -- one whose repertoire has just been expanded by this large etching collection.

Three hundred and fifty plates were found in a two-year search by students from the University of Manchester and art historian Colin Trodd, who is a Blake expert, the Independent reports.

Blake was born in 1757 in London, the son of a glove merchant, and said to have had visions from a young age. His best-known works of poetry may be the collections "Songs of Innocence" (1789) and "Songs of Experience" (1794).

During his lifetime, he was something of an artist's artist; Samuel Taylor Coleridge considered Blake a "man of Genius," according to the Academy of American Poets. His writing has inspired generations of poets, including Allen Ginsberg.

Blake, who died in 1827, was frequently commissioned to create illustrations for printed works. Many of those that have been recently discovered will go on display at the University of Manchester’s John Rylands Library next month.

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