Caux Collective Introduces: Henry Fuseli
In these beautifully haunting oil paintings, respectively named ‘The Nightmare’ (1781) and ‘Nightmare’ (1880) we are presented with two of the most famous pieces from Swiss, 18th Century Fine Artist, Henry Fuseli. In these images we are invited into a twisted scenario in which a mythical demon creature, known as an ‘incubus’ in ancient folklore, inhabits the dwelling space of a young female, perching upon her chest as she sleeps. The painting is intriguingly said to offer both the image of the narrative; a woman having her sub-conscious troubled by nightmarish scenes, represented by the image of the incubus, or an image of the dream itself, with the entire composition of the painting representing the journey the young ladies’ mind is taking.
If you’d like more from these paintings, you can find an excellent article, written in the Independent, back in 2006 by Tom Lubbock, in which the original piece of Fuseli’s is analysed in all its horrifying and psychologically probing glory. Alternatively, if you would like to see a number of Henry Fuseli’s other famous pieces, head over to the BBC’s Your Paintings website where you can find a timeline of his work.