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William Blake Paints The Portrait Of An Invisible Man
. Credit: Thomas Phillips (CC0)

One day a visitor surprised William Blake while he was working alone on a picture in his studio. His guest was astonished to discover that he was apparently working on a portrait—of an invisible sitter: he looked and drew, and looked and drew, apparently intent on capturing the spirit's likeness. When the visitor attempted to speak, Blake interrupted him. "Do not disturb me," he pleaded. "I have one sitting to me." "But there's no one here," the man replied. "But I see him, sir," Blake insisted. "There he is; his name is Lot—you may read of him in the Scriptures. He is sitting for his portrait."

[Throughout his childhood, Blake purported to have frequent visions (a claim which naturally angered his practical father). Among Blake's other childhood apparitions? He once claimed to have seen a tree full of angels.]

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