John Henry Fuseli (Swiss, Feb. 7, 1741 - Apr. 17, 1825)

Born Johann Heinrich Füssli.

The Artist Moved by the Grandeur of Antique Fragments, 1778-79
Red chalk on sepia wash, 415 x 355 mm
Kunsthaus, Zürich

The Nightmare, 1781
Oil on canvas, 101,6 x 126,7 cm
Detroit Institute of Arts

The Three Witches,  after 1783
Oil on canvas, 65 x 92 cm
Kunsthaus, Zürich, Switzerland 

Lady Macbeth, 1784
Oil on canvas, 221 x 160 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

The Shepherd's Dream, from `Paradise Lost',  1793
Oil on canvas, 154,5 x 215,5 cm
Tate Gallery, London

Silence, 1799-1801
Oil on canvas, 63,5 x 51,5 cm
Kunsthaus, Zürich

Ariel, 1800-1801
Oil on canvas, 36,5 x 28 in
The Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C.

Where the bee sucks, there suck I;
In a cowslip's bell I lie;
There I couch when owls do cry.
On the bat's back I do fly
After summer merrily.
Merrily, merrily shall I live now
Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.
                   - from W. Shakespeare The Tempest, Act V, Scene I


Swiss-born painter, draughtsman, and writer on art, active mainly in England, where he was one of the outstanding figures of the Romantic movement. Read theology intending to become a priest., he took holy orders in 1761, but soon abandoned the priesthood. He spent the years 1770–8 in Italy, engrossed in the study of Michelangelo, whose elevated style he sought to emulate for the rest of his life. After his return to England he exhibited highly imaginative works such as The Nightmare, the picture that secured his reputation when it was shown at the Royal Academy in 1782. His fascination with the horrifying and fantastic also comes out in many of his literary subjects, which formed a major part of his output; he painted several works for Boydell's Shakespeare Gallery, and in 1799 he followed this example by opening a Milton Gallery in Pall Mall with an exhibition of 47 of his own paintings.

From 1799 to 1805 Fuseli was professor of painting at the Royal Academy and he was re-elected to the post in 1810. He was a popular teacher and a much respected figure, but his work was generally neglected for about a century after his death until the Expressionists and Surrealists saw in him a kindred spirit. 

His work can be clumsy and overblown, but at its best it has something of the imaginative intensity of his friend Blake, who described Fuseli as ‘The only man that e'er I knew / who did not make me almost spew’. 
Fuseli's extensive writings on art include Lectures on Painting (1801) and a translation of Winckelmann's Reflections on the Painting and Sculpture of the Greeks (1765).   (Source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art)