Gothic Nightmares

Topics: The Nightmare, Henry Fuseli, Renaissance Pages: 3 (528 words) Published: March 11, 2009
Gothic Nightmares
Fuseli, Blake and the Romantic Imagination
at Tate Britain 15th February- 1st May 2006

The exhibition is divided amongst eight rooms, a number of artists,

work, such as Henry Fuseli, James Barry, Joseph Wright of Derby,

Catherine Blake, Philippe Jaques de Loutherbourg display their
work collectivly. This collective exhibition including many great
artists is an interesting way of showing their work, acting like a

whole installation.

The main focus of the instalment targets gothic stories, poems ,

ghouls, ideas of magic and all things involving terror, love

romance, passion. This ground breaking series of paintings

steered the public away from traditional and renaissance art and

introduced sex, horror and violence.

Focusing on Henry Fuseli his work appears throughout eight

rooms. “The Nightmare” for example holds great importance as it

depicts the time. “The Nightmare” is an oil painting on canvas

stretching 101.6x126.7cm wide painted in 1781 and has been

copied by many artists throughout time. Why does this image

create such impact? The public were shocked with this strong,

venerable painting which left Fuseli open to criticism

The powerful, disturbing image conjures up feelings of voyeurism,

and by mixing horror with sex the image haunts the viewer. It has

been argued that this painting holds the key of Fusilis’ own sexual

desires sparking debates between historians and psychologists.

The woman featured here is thought to have been Anna Landolt a

women whom Fuseli had a strong sexual fascination for. If this is

true this information can help us find a direct insight to Fuselis’

desires. The expression on her face is a telling one she looks

tortured but more overpowering than that, there is a sense of

euphoria and sexual gratification.

There are many ideas to what the painting means.

Why is the imp, also known as Mara, which is seen as...
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