It was as a young man studying theology under the tutelage of Johann Jacob Bodmer that Fuseli became familiar not just with the Romantic notion of the genius with its elevation of the fantastic and sublime to a new aesthetic form, but also its heroes – Homer, the epic “Nibelungenlied”, Dante, Milton and Shakespeare. In 1770 he arrived in Rome determined to devote himself to his art. Through a radical economy of style and a rigorous application of pictorial resources together with a correspondingly sharp increase in emotional tension he rejected the charm and grace of early classicism in favour of two-dimensional pictorial unity with a strongly conceptual and anti-naturalistic character; the result is decidedly modern. In 1779 he settled permanently in London. Here the eccentric art of the wild Swiss soon became the focus of attention; he was subsequently to dominate the Royal Academy for decades as professor and keeper.