The Gates of Paradise, were first published in a limited run in 1793, Blake later changed the title to For the Sexes: The Gates of Paradise, and added several more drawings as well as a preface and concluding verse, publishing this version in 1818. The seventeen emblematic drawings and their commentaries depict the life of man from birth to death: passage through the four elements (water, earth, wind and fire), hatching as a child from the "mundane shell," encountering women, reaching for the moon of love ("I want, I want"), falling into Time's Ocean. After several other episodes he finally arrives at the death's door with Job's words: "I have said to the Worm: Thou art my mother and my sister." There a female figure is "Weaving to Dreams the Sexual strife, And Weeping over the Web of Life."
William Blake (1757 – 1827) was a British poet, painter, visionary mystic, and engraver, who illustrated and printed his own books. Blake proclaimed the supremacy of the imagination over the rationalism and materialism of the 18th-century. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of both the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age.