Fuseli The Wild Swiss
Scheidegger und Spiess AG, Verlag | ISBN 9783858817037
Hardback – 272 pages
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In Britain he was known as the "Wild Swiss", but was nevertheless seen as a British artist: Henry Fuseli, born Johann Heinrich Fussli in 1741 and educated in Zurich. After publishing a pamphlet against a corrupt local governor, who was consequently chased out of town, Fuseli was forced to emigrate and settled 1764 in London. He became a member of the Royal Academy of Arts in 1790, professor of painting and history of art at the RA in 1799, and was elected Keeper of the RA in 1804. He was buried at St. Paul's Cathedral in 1825. This monograph shows Fuseli as a highly educated and sophisticated inventor of uniquely powerful and idiosyncratic images and surprising interpretations of the great texts of world literature. Fuseli is probably most famous for his paintings illustrating the works of William Shakespeare and John Milton, populated by elemental spirits, goblins and other deliciously fantastic creatures, often infused with a playful ironic undertone. Besides, this book shows his early drawings, inspired by Hans Holbein and Michelangelo, and his monumental historical paintings. It also presents little known aspects of Fuseli's work: portraits of fashionably dressed women with extravagant hairdos and erotic drawings, offering yet another insight into the exuberantly fertile imagination of this master of the fantastic. This book accompanies a retrospective at the Kunsthaus Zurich in collaboration with Tate Britain, where Fuseli's work will be on show in the exhibition "Gothic Nightmares: Fuseli Blake and the Romantic Imagination" in 2006.