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Henry Fuseli: Adam And Eve Essay

1461 words - 6 pages

A sensual image of mysticism and nudity lays on the canvas of Henry Fuseli. It is his painting of Adam and Eve created in the years of 1796 to 1799. The painting that is viewable today in the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Center for the Visual Arts located at Stanford University; unfortunatley is not the orginal painting created by Henry Fuseli. His work Adam and Eve was orginally named Adam and Eve First Discoverd by Satan and part of a larger collection of paintings all done in Oil on Canvas. This particular scene was painted on a 13 x 10 canvas and cut down to what was considered a more salable and smaller painting size. This eliminated Satan from the image leaving just Adam and Eve as the substance of the art piece. (Cantor Center,)

Henry Fuseli was an acommplished Swiss painter, writer and art historian; this is often over shadowed by his other acoomplishments. He was born in Zurich, Switzerland in 1741 with the name Johann Heinrich Füssli. (Abdullah et al.) Johann Caspar Fussli, Henry's father, was a city clerk who was a devoted lover of art which in part influenced Henry Fuseli. In 1761 he was ordained a minister due to his fathers wishes after attending Caroline College. He studied literature, asthetics, greek and latin under Johann Jakob Bodmer. In the year 1762 Fuseli and a fellow classmate and friend Johann Kasper Lavater issued a pamphlet accusing and exposing a magistrate Felix Grebel of being corrupt and a crook. To avoid repercussions for his action Fuseli was forced to flee the country and ended up in Germany. Here he met a Swiss art theorist and mathematician Johann Georg Sulzer. Sulzer introduced Fuseli to the life of philosophy, literature and art after his attempts of being a writer. Fuseli assisted in the production of the book “Allgemeine Theone der Schoren Kunste” or in english known as “General Theory of Fine Art” published in 1774. (SITE ARTHISTORIANS.COM)
In 1764 Fuseli moved to London, England where he spent a majority of his life. In 1770 Fuseli left for an art-pilgrimage in Italy for the next 8 years of his life. Italy is where he changed his name from Fussli to Fuseli due to feeling that Fuseli sounded more Italian. The study of the ancient roman and greek scluptures and art as well as the classics in Italy were apparent from the influences his work later in his career. 1779 brought Fuseli back to London and one year later he was accepted into the Royal Academy of England. (Knowles, 220) He was married and it is believed he a had few mistresses in his life. One affair consisted on a year journey back to Zurich. This did not stop him from excelling in the Royal Academy and eventually becoming a Professor. (Farmer, 14-19)
Europe at the time was under going changes that were affecting the market and the relationships between countries. The Napoleonic Wars were taking place as well as the Colonies working towards seeing seperation for Britian. A major change was the first Bank of England was introduced its first bank...

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