Johann Heinrich Fussli Biography and Artwork

Johann Heinrich Fussli (1741-1825) was a Swiss-born British painter, draughtsman, and writer on art. He was known for his dramatic, original, and sensual style of painting. His father Johann Caspar Fussli was a portrait painter who instilled in him an appreciation for fine art.

Initially studying theology, Fussli rejected the academic path to become an artist under the tutelage of renowned artist Johann Jakob Bodmer. With Bodmer’s influence, he developed his artistic talent and became a successful painter. Many of his works dealt with supernatural subject matter that were meant to shock and captivate audiences.

Fussli created his own “Milton Gallery” which showcased paintings inspired by poet John Milton’s Paradise Lost. He also worked for John Boydell’s Shakespeare Gallery where he illustrated famous scenes from Shakespeare’s plays. Known for being a prolific writer on art himself, Fussli penned various essays documenting his views on different artists such as Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci.

Fussli’s impact on future generations of artists is evident through the likes of Théodore Géricault who found inspiration in Fussli’s work. Penry Williams later became one of Fussli’s pupils at the Royal Academy in London where he taught drawing until his death in 1825.

All Johann Heinrich Fussli Artwork on Artchive

Artwork Name Year Medium
The Night-Hag Visiting the Lapland Witches c. 1796 Oil on Canvas
The Nightmare 1781 Oil on Canvas
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