The 18th and 19th Centuries


 



(Neoclassicism, Romanticism and Art Styles in 19th century - Art Map)

 



Neoclassicism and Romanticism



 

 





see collections:


William Blake



see also:


"The Book of Job"  by  William Blake


&

The Bible illustrations by Julius von Carolsfeld, Gustave Dore,
William Blake


&

Dante "The Divine Comedy" (Illustrations by G. Dore, W. Blake, S. Dali)




see collections:


Alexander Cozens (from Mackworth Praed Book)


Henry Fuseli


James Barry


Philipp Otto Runge


Karl Pavlovitch Brullov


John Martin



 

 


The English Masters

   
  


Alexander Cozens
Rocky Bay Scene
  

Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775—1851) was one of the greatest of all British painters and a key exponent of Romantic landscape art. His Snowstorm: Hannibal and his Army Crossing the Alps is an awesome work, a masterful expression of the power and mystery of nature. It shows Hannibal at the mercy of nature, which has turned against him, rather than as master of his own destiny. This reversed the idea of David's composition, Napoleon Crossing the St Bernard Pass (1800), which portrayed Napoleon as a new Hannibal. The natural elements completely dominate the composition, and the figures (even that of the elephant) appear tiny and helpless. Turner's work took to extremes the lyrical immersion in nature that had been portrayed earlier by Alexander Cozens (l717-86), and it went beyond the immediacy of the vision of John Constable (1776-1837), culminating in a kind of "mysticism of light". Thomas Gainsborough (1727-88) had already explored the enigmatic magic of colour with his fluid, shadowy brushstrokes. According to Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-92), the artist should paint "in the same way in which nature creates her own works". The aristocratic tradition of the portrait was continued by Reynolds, Gainsborough, and Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830), who was court painter in 1792.


Joseph Mallord William Turner
Snowstorm: Hannibal and his Army Crossing the Alps
1812

 

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William Blake
Hecate or the Three Fate
s
1795

 

 

Blake and the Visionary Painters



The concept of existential loneliness that emerged with Romanticism signalled the end of the Utopian ideals of the Enlightenment. At the same time, the artists' vision broadened in their attempt to paint "that which is not seen". Figures became less heavy and more immaterial, less concrete and defined, in contrast to the precision of Neoclassicism. Figures no longer portrayed only beauty, but were moulded by the energies of the human soul, sometimes distorted or uneasy, often disorderly and impulsive. Artists were invested with a new responsibility, almost as the re-creators of a lost paradise, imparting a divine message that could only be revealed through the medium of art. William Blake (1757-1827), the visionary and prophetic poet and artist, proclaimed: "The man who raises himself above all is the artist; the prophet is he who is gifted with imagination". The Swiss-born Henry Fuseli, after settling in England, transformed the graceful, symbolic fauna of Neoclassicism, such as butterflies and horses, into strange, ambiguous monsters of the imagination. The dream, with all its irrational implications, became the realm of fantasy, terrifying images, and erotic temptations. His contemporary, the Irish historical painter James Barry (1741-1806) was, according to Blake, misunderstood and unappreciated by the art world. Affirming his strong belief in his own greatness. Barry portrayed himself in Self-Portrait, wearing the garments of the Greek painter Timantes. For William Blake, "the world of the imagination is the world of eternity", where truth and illusion, experience and fantasy, the real world and the supernatural, have no dividing line. To Blake, if "the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is. infinite." Blake, along with exploring the spiritualism of biblical subjects, also sought a common, unifying cosmology to all mythology - classical, Nordic, Semitic, and Oriental. In reviving the form of the medieval miniature, Blake devised a new technique to blend the meaning of the text with the style in which it is presented, synthesizing narrative and decoration. His figures retained a classical beauty and purity of line that approached those of the Danish-born German painter and draughtsman Jakob Carstens (1754-98). The German artist Philipp Otto Runge (1777-1810) took refuge in the myth of childhood, which he idealized as a beautiful, happy time in which love remained pure and innocent. He often used the stability of the family in his work as a mirror of the entire range of human relationships. In his series Die Tageszeiten ("The Times of the Day") begun in about 1796. Runge aimed to extend such harmony to the whole universe. This ambitious project depicts nature with allegorical personages that allude to human destiny and have some religious and political significance. A chapel was to have housed the work, which, combined with music and poetry, prefigured Wagner's dream of Gesamtkunstwerk - a total expression of words, music, and theatre.
         

   
 


Philipp Otto Runge
The Small Morning

1809-10
Oil on canvas, 109 x 86 cm
Kunsthalle, Hamburg
 

   


William Blake
Isaac Newton

 

   
 


William Blake

(Encyclopaedia Britannica)

born Nov. 28, 1757, London
died Aug. 12, 1827, London


English poet, painter (see ), engraver, and visionary mystic whose hand-illustrated series of lyrical and epic poems, beginning with Songs of Innocence (1789) and Songs of Experience (1794), form one of the most strikingly original and independent bodies of work in the Western cultural tradition. Blake is now regarded as one of the earliest and greatest figures of Romanticism. Yet he was ignored by the public of his day and was called mad because he was single-minded and unworldly; he lived on the edge of poverty and died in neglect.
Education and early career.

Blake was the second of five children; his father was a hosier. William grew up in London and later described the visionary experiences he had as a child in the surrounding countryside, when he saw angels in a tree at Peckham Rye and the prophet Ezekiel in a field. He wanted to be an artist and in 1767, at age 10, started to attend the drawing school of Henry Pars in the Strand. He educated himself by wide reading and the study of engravings from paintings by the great Renaissance masters. In 1772 he was apprenticed to an engraver, James Basire, who taught him his craft very thoroughly. Basire sent him to make drawings of the sculptures in Westminster Abbey, and thus awakened his interest in Gothic art.
 

   
 

William Blake
God as an Architect
illustration from The Ancient of Days
1794
 

 


On completion of his apprenticeship in 1779 Blake entered the Royal Academy as an engraving student. His period of study there seems to have been stormy. He took a violent dislike to Sir Joshua Reynolds, then president of the Royal Academy, and felt that his talents were being wasted. While still at the Academy he was earning his living by engraving for publishers and was also producing independent watercolours. At this time his friends included a group of brilliant young artists, among them the sculptor John Flaxman and the painter Thomas Stothard. He also came into contact with the painter Henry Fuseli.

On Aug. 18, 1782, Blake married a poor, illiterate girl, Catherine Boucher, who was to make a perfect companion for him. Flaxman introduced him to the Rev. Anthony S. Mathew and his wife, and for a time Blake was one of the chief attractions at their literary parties. Flaxman and Mathew paid for the printing of a collection of verses by the iryoung friend, Poetical Sketches. By W.B. (1783). A preface provides the information that the verses were written between Blake's 12th and 20th years. This is a remarkable first volume of poetry, and some of the poems contained in it have a freshness, a purity of vision, and a lyric intensity unequaled in English poetry since the 17th century.

Blake's visits to the Mathews' eventually became less frequent and finally ceased. Nevertheless, in the 1780s he was one of a group of progressive-minded people that met at the house of Blake's employer, the Radical bookseller Joseph Johnson. In about 1787 he wrote the fragment of a prose fantasy called An Island in the Moon, in which members of this group are satirized. In 1784, after his father's death, Blake started a print shop in London and tookhis younger brother Robert to live with him as assistant and pupil. Early in 1787 Robert fell ill and in February he died; and William, who had nursed him devotedly, later said that he had seen Robert's soul joyfully rising through the ceiling. He also said that Robert had appeared to him in a vision and revealed a method of engraving the text and illustrations of his books without having recourse to a printer. This method was Blake's invention of what he called “illuminated printing,” in which, by a special technique of relief etching, each page of the book was printed in monochrome from an engraved plate containing both text and illustration: an invention foreshadowed by his friend, George Cumberland. The pages were then usually coloured with watercolour or printed in colour by Blake and his wife, bound together in paper covers, and sold for prices ranging from a few shillings to 10 guineas. Most of Blake's works after the Poetical Sketches were engraved and “published” in this way, and so reached only a limited public during his lifetime; today these “illuminated books,” with their dynamic designs and glowing colours, are among the world's art treasures.

The first books in which Blake made use of his new printing method were two little tracts, There is No Natural Religion and All Religions are One, engraved about 1788. They contain the seeds of practically all the subsequent development of his thought. In them he boldly challenges accepted contemporary theories of the human mind derived from Locke and the prevailing rationalistic-materialistic philosophy and proclaims the superiority of the imagination over other “organs of perception,” since it is the means of perceiving “the Infinite,” or God. Immediately following these tracts came Blake's first masterpieces, in an astonishing outburst of creative activity: Songs of Innocenceand The Book of Thel (both engraved 1789), The French Revolution (1791), The Marriage of Heaven and Hell and Visions of the Daughters of Albion (both engraved 1793), and Songs of Innocence and Experience (1794). The production of these works coincided with the outbreak of the French Revolution, of which Blake, like the other members of the group that met at Johnson's shop, was at first an enthusiastic supporter. Blake significantly differed from other English revolutionaries, however, in his hatred of deism, atheism, and materialism, and his profound, though un dogmatic, religious sense.
 

   
 


William Blake
Songs of Innocence
(Title page)

 


 


Songs of Innocence and Experience.

Songs of Innocence is Blake's first masterpiece of “illuminated printing.” In it the fragile and flowerlike beauty of the lyrics harmonizes with the delicacy and rhythmical subtlety of the designs. Songs of Innocence differs radically from the rather derivative pastoral mode of the Poetical Sketches; in the Songs, Blake took as his models the popular street ballads and rhymes for children of his own time, transmuting these forms by his genius into some of the purest lyric poetry in the English language.

In 1794 he finished a slightly rearranged version of Songs of Innocence with the addition of Songs of Experience; the double collection, in Blake's own words in the subtitle, “shewing the two contrary states of the human soul.” The “two contrary states” are innocence, when the child's imagination has simply the function of completing its own growth; and experience, when it is faced with the world of law, morality, and repression. Songs of Experience provides a kind of ironic answer to Songs of Innocence. The earlier collection's celebration of a beneficent God is countered by the image of him in Experience, in which he becomes the tyrannous God of repression. The key symbol of Innocence is the Lamb; the corresponding image in Experience is the Tyger, the subject of the famous poem that stands at the peak of Blake's lyrical achievement:


Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

The Tyger in this poem is the incarnation of energy, strength, lust, and cruelty, and the tragic dilemma of mankind is poignantly summarized in the final question, “Did he who made the Lamb make thee?” Blake also viewed the larger society, in the form of contemporary London, with agonized doubt in Experience, in contrast to his happy visions of the city in Innocence. The great poem “London” in Experience is an especially powerful indictment of the new “acquisitive society” then coming into being, and the poem's naked simplicity of language is the perfect medium for conveying Blake's anguished vision of a society dominated by money.



Early narrative poems.

Blake was experimenting in narrative as well as lyrical poetry at this time. Tiriel, a first attempt, was never engraved. The Book of Thel, with its lovely flowing designs, is an idyll akin to Songs of Innocence in its flowerlike delicacy and transparency. In Tiriel and The Book of Thel Blake uses for the first time the long unrhymed line of 14 syllables, which was to become the staple metre of his narrative poetry. The fragment called The French Revolution is a heroic attempt to make epic poetry out of contemporary history. In The Marriage of Heaven and Hell satire, prophecy,humour, poetry, and philosophy are mingled in a way that has few parallels. Written mainly in terse, sinewy prose, it may be described as a satire on institutional religion and conventional morality. In it Blake defines the ideal use of sensuality: “If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite.” Blake reverses the tenets of conventional Christianity, equating the good with reason and repression and regarding evil as the natural expression of a fundamental psychic energy. The book includes a famous criticism of Milton and the “Proverbs of Hell,” 70 pithy aphorisms that are notable for their praise of heroic energy and their sense of creative vitality. The Marriage culminates in the “Song of Liberty,” a hymn of faithin revolution, ending with the affirmation that “everything that lives is Holy.” In Visions of the Daughters of Albion Blake develops the theme of sexual freedom suggested in several of the Songs of Experience. The central figure in the poem, Oothoon, finds that she has attained to a new purity through sexual delight and regeneration. In this poem the repressive god of abstract morality is first called Urizen.


Lambeth.

All Blake's works of the revolutionary period were produced at a house in Soho in London, where he and his wife went to live shortly after Robert's death. In 1793 they moved south of the Thames to Lambeth. They lived there for seven years, and this, the period of Blake's greatest worldly prosperity, was also that of his deepest spiritual uncertainty. Blake's poetry of this period appears in the so-called “Prophetic books”: America, A Prophecy (1793), Europe, A Prophecy (1794), The Book of Urizen (1794), and The Book of Ahania, The Book of Los, and The Song of Los (all 1795). In these works Blake elaborates a series of cosmic myths and epics through which he sets forth a complex and intricate philosophical scheme. A principal symbolic figure in these books is Urizen, a spurned and outcast immortal who embodies both Jehovah and the forces of reason and law thatBlake viewed as restricting and suppressing the natural energies of the human soul.

The Prophetic books describe a series of epic battles fought out in the cosmos, in history, and in the human soul, betweenentities symbolizing the conflicting forces of reason (Urizen),imagination (Los), and the spirit of rebellion (Orc). America, illustrated with brilliantly coloured designs, is a powerful short narrative poem giving a visionary interpretation of the American Revolution as the uprising of Orc, the spirit of rebellion. Europe shows the coming of Christ and the French Revolution of the late 18th century as part of the same manifestation of the spirit of rebellion. The Book of Urizen is Blake's version—or parody—of the biblical Book of Genesis. Here the Creator is not a beneficent, righteous Jehovah, but Urizen, a “dark power” whose rebellion against the primeval unity leads to his entrapment in the material world. The poetry of The Book of Urizen, written in short unrhymed lines of three accents, has a gloomy power, but is inferior in effect to the magnificent accompanying designs, which have an energy and monumental grandeur anticipating the quality of those of Jerusalem, Blake's most splendid illuminated book. Blake's saga of myths is continued in The Book of Ahania, a kind of Exodus following the Genesis of Urizen, and in The Book of Los. In The Song of Los Blake returns to the cosmic theme and brings the story of humanity down to his own time. By this time Blake seems to have reached his spiritual nadir, and his poetry peters out in the last of the Prophetic books. He had lost faith in the French Revolution as an apocalyptic and regenerating force, and was finding his attempt at a synthesis based on the “contraries” of good andevil inadequate as an answer to the complexities of human existence.


Major epics.

With The Song of Los the experimental period of his poetic career ended: he engraved no more books for nearly 10 years. In 1795 he had been commissioned by a bookseller to make designs for an edition of Edward Young's Night Thoughts. He worked on this until 1797, producing 537 watercolour drawings. It seems to have been while he was working on these illustrations that a fresh creative impulse led to the beginning of his first full-scale epic poem. The first draft of the epic, called Vala, was begun in 1795. He worked on it for about nine years, during which period he rewrote it under the title of The Four Zoas, but never engraved it. It remains a magnificent torso, but the quality of this work's poetry and its thought are obscured by its overly complicated mythological scheme. In spite of the grandeur of individual passages and of the major conception, The FourZoas remains fragmentary and lacking in coherence. It provided the materials out of which Blake constructed his later epics, Milton and Jerusalem.

In 1800, at the invitation of William Hayley, a Sussex squire, Blake and his wife went to live in a cottage provided by Hayley at Felpham on the Sussex coast. This well-meaning, obtuse dilettante, who had employed Blake to make engravings, regarded his imaginative works with contempt and tried to turn him into a miniature painter and tame poet on his estate. At first Blake was delighted with life in Sussex, but he soon found the patronizing Hayley intolerable. The cottage was damp and Mrs. Blake's health suffered, and in 1803 the Blakes returned to London. Toward the end of his stay at Felpham, Blake was accused by a soldier called Schofield of having uttered seditious words when he had ejected him from his cottage garden. He was tried at the quarter sessions at Chichester, denied the charges, and was acquitted. Hayley gave bail for Blake and employed counsel to defend him. This experience became part of the mythology underlying Jerusalem and Milton.

It was also probably at Felpham that Blake wrote the most notable of his later lyrical poems, including “Auguries of Innocence,” with its memorable opening stanza:

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.


It was at Felpham, too, that he wrote some of his finest letters, many of them addressed to Thomas Butts, a government clerk who was for years a generous and loyal supporter and patron of Blake and who commissioned almost his total output of paintings and watercolours at this period.

In 1804–08 Blake engraved Milton. This poem is a comparatively brief epic which deals with a contest between the hero (Milton) and Satan; it too is couched in the propheticgrandeur and obscurity of Blake's invented mythology. Milton's struggle with evil in the poem is a reflection of Blake's own conflicts with the domineering patronage of William Hayley.

Jerusalem is Blake's third major epic and his longest poem. Begun about 1804, and written and engraved soon after the completion of Milton, it is also the most richly decorated of Blake's illuminated books, and only a few of its 100 plates are without illustration. Although the details are complex and present many difficulties, the poem's main outlines are simple. At the opening of the poem the giant Albion (who represents both England and humanity) is shown plunged into the “Sleep of Ulro,” or the hell of abstract materialism. The core of the poem describes his awakening and regeneration through the agency of Los, the archetypal craftsman or creative man. The poem's consummation is the reunion of Albion with Jerusalem (his lost soul) and with God through his acceptance of Jesus' doctrine of universal brotherhood.


Last years.

Blake's life during the period from 1803 to about 1820 was one of worldly failure. He found it difficult to get work, and the engravings that can be identified as his from this period are often hack jobs. In 1809 he made a last effort to put his work before the public and held an exhibition of 16 paintings and watercolour drawings. He wrote a thoughtful Descriptive Catalogue for the exhibition, but only a few people attended.But after this long period of obscurity, Blake found in 1819 anew and generous patron in the painter John Linnell, who introduced him to a group of young artists among whom was Samuel Palmer. In his last years Blake became the centre ofthis group, whose members shared Blake's religious seriousness and revered him as their master.

The most notable poetry Blake wrote after Jerusalem is to be found in The Everlasting Gospel (1818?), a fragmentary and unfinished work containing a challenging reinterpretation of the character and teaching of Christ. But Blake's last years were devoted mainly to pictorial art. In 1821 Linnell commissioned him to make a series of 22 watercolours inspired by the Book of Job; these include someof his best known pictures. Linnell also commissioned Blake's designs for Dante's Divine Comedy, begun in 1825 and left unfinished at his death. These consist of 102 watercolours notable for their brilliant colour. Blake thus found in his 60s a following and support for the imaginative work he had longed to do all his life. As a result, it was in his last years that he produced his most technically assured andbeautiful designs. Toward the end of his life Blake still coloured copies of his books while resting in bed, and that is how he died in a room off the Strand in his 70th year. He was buried in an unmarked grave in Bunhill Fields.



Pictorial work.

In his painting, as in his poetry, Blake seemed to most of his contemporaries to be completely out of the artistic mainstream of their time. But his paintings belong to a recognizable artistic tradition, that of English figurative painting of the later 18th century. Blake was initially influenced by the engravings he studied of the works of Michelangelo and Raphael. He then became deeply impressed with the work of such contemporary figurative painters as James Barry, John Mortimer, and Henry Fuseli, who, like Blake, depicted dramatically posed nude figures with strongly rhythmic, linear contours. Fuseli's extravagant pictorial fantasies in particular freed Blake to distort his figures to express his inner vision.

Throughout his life Blake stressed the preeminence of line, or drawing, over colour, commending the “hard wirey line of rectitude.” He condemned everything that he felt made painting indefinite in contour, such as painterly brushwork and shadowing. Finally, Blake stressed the primacy of art created from the imagination over that drawn from the observation of nature.

The figures in Blake's many prints and watercolour and tempera paintings are notable for the rhythmic vitality of their undulating contours, the monumental simplicity of theirstylized forms, and the dramatic effectiveness and originality of their gestures. Blake's favourite subjects wereepisodes from the Bible, along with episodes found in the works of Milton and Dante. He also showed himself a daring and unusually subtle colourist in many of his works. His illustrations for the Book of Job were done late in life, and they mark the summit of his achievement in the visual arts.
 

   

William Blake
The Book of Job
(Title page)
 



see:
"The Book of Job"  by  William Blake

 


The Book of Job


book of Hebrew scripture that is often counted among the masterpieces of world literature. It is found in the third section of the biblical canon known as the Ketuvim (“Writings”). The book's theme is the eternal problem of unmerited suffering, and it is named after its central character, Job, who attempts to understand the sufferings that engulf him.

The Book of Job may be divided into two sections of prose narrative, consisting of a prologue (chapters 1–2) and an epilogue (chapter 42:7–17), and intervening poetic disputation (chapters 3–42:6). The prose narratives date to before the 6th century BCE, and the poetry has been dated between the 6th and the 4th century BCE. Chapters 28 and 32–37 were probably later additions.

The Book of Job's artful construction accounts for much of its impact. The poetic disputations are set within the prose framework of an ancient legend that originated outside Israel. This legend concerns Job, a prosperous man of outstanding piety. Satan acts as an agent provocateur to test whether or not Job's piety is rooted merely in his prosperity. But faced with the appalling loss of his possessions, his children, and finally his own health, Job still refuses to curse God. Three of his friends then arrive to comfort him, and at this point the poetic dialogue begins. The poetic discourses—which probe the meaning of Job's sufferings and the manner in which he should respond—consist of three cycles of speeches that contain Job's disputes with his three friends and his conversations with God. Job proclaims his innocence and the injustice of hissuffering, while his “comforters” argue that Job is being punished for his sins. Job, convinced of his faithfulness and uprighteousness, is not satisfied with this explanation. The conversation between Job and God resolves the dramatic tension—but without solving the problem of undeserved suffering. The speeches evoke Job's trust in the purposeful activity of God in the affairs of the world, even though God's ways with man remain mysterious and inscrutable.

(Encyclopaedia Britannica)
 

 
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THE APOCALYPTIC FORCES OF NATURE

 


Karl Brullov
Last Days of Pompeii
1830-1833

 


Henry Fuseli
Satan Calling to Beelzebub over a Sea of Fire
1802
 

Nature, to the Romantics, ceased to be a mere backdrop to human affairs and became a living organism that was both extreme and multi-dimensional. It no longer bore the intentionally reassuring characteristics of Arcadia, but expressed itself through hurricanes, raging fires, and earthquakes.
The Last Days of Pompeii by the Russian artist Karl Pavlovitch Brullov (1799-1852) shows in lurid colours the horror of that fateful day. The outstretched arms, the heads bent back to look at the threatening sky, and other gestures show the sense of terror among the figures. These expressions conform to the classical vocabulary introduced in the Stanze, the series of rooms in the Vatican that Raphael decorated for Julius II and Leo X. Elsewhere, the same theme of horror and cataclysm was developed in a decidedly anti-classical sense. John Martin ( 1789-1854) was one of the more visionary English painters of the 18th century. His unusual effects of light and the contrasts between a dramatically apocalyptic landscape and tiny figures create an almost supernatural effect. He drew on biblical and Oriental themes, for example, the canvas of Sadak Looking for the Waters of Oblivion (1812), taken from Persian legend, and The Fall of Baylon (1819), which is painted in the same grandiose manner. Martin was famous throughout Europe and appealed particularly to French writers such as Huysmans, Sainte-Beuve, Victor Hugo, and Theophile Gamier. Henry Fuseli, in his painting Satan Calling to Beelzebub over a Sea of Fire, advanced even further towards the abyss: the main figure is both majestic and sinister, while the figure rising from the depths with its indistinct features, seems to bring to life the monstrous forms of the human soul.


John Martin
Sadak Looking for the Waters of Oblivion
1812

 

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SLEEP AND REASON


Fuseli's The Nightmare is an enigmatic image that transcends reason, while Goya's The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters is an allegory of the irrational tears that lie behind rational thought. Both illustrate sleep and dream-states, and explore how illusion and fantasy are inextricably bound up with reason.
 


Henry Fuseli
The Nightmare
1791

 
 


Henry Fuseli
Self-Portrait
 

 


Henry Fuseli

(Encyclopaedia Britannica)

born Feb. 7, 1741, Zürich, Switz.
died April 16, 1825, Putney Hill, London, Eng.


original name Johann Heinrich Füssli Swiss-born painter whose works are among the most exotic, original, and sensual pieces of his time.

Fuseli was reared in an intellectual and artistic milieu and initially studied theology. Obliged to flee Zürich because of political entanglements, he went first to Berlin, and then settled in London in 1764. He was encouraged to become a painter by Sir Joshua Reynolds, and he left England in 1768 to study in Italy until 1778. During his stay in Rome he studied the works of Michelangelo and classical art, which became his major stylistic influences; his subject matter was chiefly literary. Fuseli is famous for his paintings and drawings of nude figures caught in strained and violent poses suggestive of intense emotion. He also had a penchant for inventing macabre fantasies, such as that in “The Nightmare” (1781). He had a noticeable influence on the style of his younger contemporary, William Blake.

In 1788 Fuseli was elected an associate of the Royal Academy, becoming a full academician two years later. During 1799–1805 and again from 1810 he was professor of painting at the Royal Academy. He was appointed keeper of the Academy in 1804.
 

 

 


Henry Fuseli
The Nightmare
1791



see collections:


William Blake


see also:


"The Book of Job"  by  William Blake


The Bible illustrations by Julius von Carolsfeld, Gustave Dore,
William Blake


Dante "The Divine Comedy" (Illustrations by G. Dore, W. Blake, S. Dali)



see collections:


Alexander Cozens (from Mackworth Praed Book)


Henry Fuseli


James Barry


Philipp Otto Runge


Karl Pavlovitch Brullov


John Martin

 

 

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