The idiosyncratic art of Henry Fuseli (1741 –1825) divided public opinion throughout his career. Few, though, were aware of his secret interest in contemporary depictions of women, which he explored mainly through the medium of drawing.
Here, more than anywhere else, Fuseli investigated the modern woman as figure of enhanced and unsettling power: where we might expect to see idealized bodies in appealing poses, instead we encounter dominant women in sophisticated and fashionable outfits sporting the most extravagant hairdos.
But what lies behind this ambivalent depiction of empowered femininity? Bringing together some 50 of those studies, our exhibition offers an unprecedented opportunity to discover Fuseli the draughtsman in his most sensational form.
The exhibition is organized in collaboration with The Courtauld Gallery, London.
Ill: Henry Fuseli, Halflength figure of a courtesan with feathered headdress, c. 1800 – 1810, Kunsthaus Zürich, Gottfried Keller Foundation, Federal Office of Culture, Bern, 1934