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Henry Fuseli

Fuseli, Henry (fyōˈzĭlē) [key], 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).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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