Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Henry Fuseli
Most will recognize this painting with the devil sitting on the woman in bed, probably Fuseli's most famous painting. All of his paintings provoke a dark dreamlike world with witches, fairies and demons. The limbs of people on the canvas are stretched into peculiar and unnatural contortions. This quote on Fuseli's creative process details the reason for this... "As a painter, Fuseli was daringly inventive, and always aspired to the highest forms of excellence. His method included deliberately exaggerating the due proportions of the parts and throwing his figures into contorted attitudes. One technique involved setting down arbitrary points on a sheet, which then became the extreme points of the various limbs--rather like creating a constellation from the unintentional relations of stars." - quote taken from here.

Fuseli's paintings would inspire many of the artists that have been rounded into the "symbolist" art movement.

I was impressed at the large size of the paintings on display at the Wikimedia Commons gallery of Fuseli's works. Check out the weird creatures at the top of this painting.

Click here to see a sketch by Fuseli of a bizarre dragon like beast with a large human head. This image is part of another gallery of drawings and paintings inspired by Dante's "The Divine Comedy".

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