Henry Fuseli

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Fuseli, Henry

(fyo͞o`zĭlē), 1741–1825, Anglo-Swiss painter and draftsman, b. Zürich. He was known also as Johann Heinrich Fuessli or Füssli. He took holy orders but never practiced the priesthood. Fuseli went (c.1763) to England and studied in London, where Joshua Reynolds befriended him. He spent a few years in Italy, where he made the studies for his famous series of nine paintings for Boydell's Shakespeare Gallery. Returning to England, he exhibited a number of works of a grotesque and visionary type, including the celebrated Nightmare (1782). His own Milton Gallery housed a series of his paintings illustrating the poet's works. His drawings, of which he left over 800, further reveal his romantic fascination with the terrifying and weird. Fuseli admired and encouraged William Blake. Some of his lectures to the Royal Academy have been published.

Bibliography

See studies by F. Antal (1956), P. A. Tomory (1972), and G. Schiff (2 vol., 1974).

Fuseli, Henry

 

(originally named Johann Heinrich Füssli). Born Feb. 6, 1741, in Zürich; died Apr. 16, 1825, at Putney Hill, near London. Swiss artist and writer of the early romantic movement.

Fuseli lived chiefly in England, settling in London in 1765. From 1770 to 1778 he lived in Italy, where he moved principally in the circle of J. J. Winkelmann. In 1790, Fuseli became a member of the Royal Academy of Arts; he was a professor of painting and a curator there from 1799 to 1810 and again from 1810 to 1825. His paintings and virtuoso drawings frequently combined a classical idealization of images with impetuous gloomy fantasy, elements of the grotesque, and, at times, keen observation of life. Fuseli was also a poet, historian, and art theorist.

REFERENCES

Nekrasova, E. A. Romantizm v angliiskom iskusstve. Moscow, 1975. Pages 20–44.
Antal, F. Fuseli Studies. London, 1956.
Schiff, G. Johann Heinrich Füssli: 1741–1825, vols. 1–2. Zörich-Munich [1973],
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Kunsthaus Zurich is now featuring, for the first time in more than 30 years, works of 'The Wild Swiss,' Johann Heinrich Fuseli.
No surviving works, however, are earlier than his seven years in Rome, where, from 1772, aged thirty six, he associated with two spirited and highly original artists slightly younger than himself: Heinrich Fuseli and Johan Tobias Sergel.
Heinrich Fuseli, painter and printmaker who boasted that he 'could swear in nine languages', had the same feeling of another world hidden behind the curtain of everyday life, a place where angels and demons lurked to inspire or destroy.