John Henry Fuseli was a highly educated Swiss minister, not a painter, when he came to London in 1764 at the age of 23. Recognized as one of the city's intellectual leaders, he twice went to Italy where he studied the classics and absorbed all the wealth of knowledge the Italian Renaissance had to offer. Returning to London, he determined to make a career for himself as a painter. Although heavily influenced by Michelangelo, Fuseli seems to have developed something of a style of his own, illustrating literary works, Norse myths, Dante, Milton, and Shakespeare. However his most expressive work seems to have come from his own psyche as in his The Nightmare, painted in 1781.
|The Nightmare, 1781, John Henry Fuseli|