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.


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

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


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],
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Key works by Henry Fuseli, John Constable and Samuel Palmer are also on display, as well as two rooms examining the potent and wide-ranging legacy of these artists.
Despite claims to a visionary source, this flea recalls the imps of Henry Fuseli (1741-1825), another painter of monsters, and some of Blake's previous work.
His circle of patrons included the Swiss painter Henry Fuseli, as well as the English painter Samuel Palmer and the work of the poet Thomas Gray among others.
Because Wickenheiser's interest in collecting Milton began with an emphasis on illustrated editions, it is especially appropriate and aesthetically illuminating to see a further section of the book devoted to Original Drawings, Illustrations, Engravings, and Other, including some of the most important and best known illustrations of Paradise Lost by John Bell, Henry Fuseli, and Henry Richter.
Among the medieval narrative sources accessible to the artists, Havely identifies as the most significant Boccaccio's version in his Esposizioni, whose influence is discernible in the illustrations by Henry Fuseli, John Flaxman, and Jean August Dominique Ingres.
'I have been led to imagine', she wrote, 'that the few extraordinary women who have rushed in eccentrical directions out of the orbit prescribed to their sex, were male spirits, confined by mistake in female frames.' (73) Johnson was a close friend, and Godwin relates that 'sentiments of genuine affection and friendship' developed early between Wollstonecraft and George Fordyce (a physician who wrote and lectured and was a regular guest at Johnson's) and between her and the artist Henry Fuseli, another of Johnson's regular guests.
There is the vivid Gothic imagery by the German artist Albrecht Durer, the dark and distorted works by the Swiss artist Henry Fuseli, the iconic and fantastical works by Surrealists such as Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte and then, of course, there's today's contemporary artists Susan Hiller and Eija-Liisa Ahtila with their compelling video, film and audio.
This section might have benefited from more and better illustrations; although it includes a print of what has become one of the iconic images of Gothic, Henry Fuseli's Nightmare, this is small and grainy.
He persuaded prominent artists who are famous still--Joshua Reynolds, Benjamin West, George Romney and Henry Fuseli, among them--to participate.
Henry Fuseli, born Johann Heinrich Fussli (1741--1825); Louis Moreau Gottschalk (1829--69), and Cesare Lombroso (1835--1909) remain of constant interest to specialists; among the broader public, detailed recall is not likely.
CITY CENTRE: The Walker art gallery is holding a talk on one of its paintings, The Death of Oedipus, by Henry Fuseli. The free event starts at 1pm on Thursday.