Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Henry Fuseli

This is The Nightmare. Fuseli painted in the late 1700s and was a teacher of Edwin Landseer for one and was a big influence on William Blake. He was a German born painter, schooled in Italy and eventually became an instructor at the Royal Academy. This piece is very indicative of his work and has a very dark quality to it. We have a woman in the throws of a dream being visited by a "mare" and a goblin. I am not really sure how to analyze this painting as it is attractive to me on many levels. I think what what best bet on this on is to try to identify the things I like. I like the limited palette. Yellow ochre, white, alizarin crimson seem to be the major hues and are not very saturated which adds to the night-ish feel. The high contrast between the gown of the female and the black background darkness adds alot of drama to the piece. The manical grin on the mare and the odd way the goblin seems to stare out of the painting at the viewer adds a level of discomfort to the viewer while intiguing them to look more closely. The handling of the drapery is exquisitely done from the sheerness of the gown to the folds and shadows of the drapery. This is an artist that merits deeper study.

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