William Blake was an English poet, painter, and printer, who is now considered a seminal artistic figure of the Romantic Age.
Eight of his etchings have been bought for the nation following a campaign to raise £441,000 by the Tate Gallery.
The money was raised by The Art Fund, Tate Members, Tate Patrons and public donations.
The disturbing, bleak etchings were offered for sale by a man who unwittingly bought them during a secondhand book sale in the 1970s.
Blake reproduced the etchings, each finished in pen and ink and hand-coloured, from a series of illuminated books he made in the 1790s.
Six of the works are from his book The First Book of Urizen, one from the mythological poem The Book of Thel and one from his revolutionary prose work The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.
The Tate has long been a supporter of Blake's work. In the early 1920s, Tate created the first ever gallery devoted to his work.
The works will go on display at Tate Britain in July 2010, and will travel to the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Art, Moscow in November 2011 for the exhibition William Blake and British Visionary Art.
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