Monday, February 9, 2009

Flesh for Fantasy

When William Blake calls you an influence, you know your art is unique. Henry Fuseli, born Johann Heinrich Füssli on February 7, 1741 in Zurich, Switzerland, left his greatest impression on the art world of England. Fuseli’s best-known painting, The Nightmare (above, from 1781), contains all the typical hallmarks of the Fuseli style—macabre, nightmarish subject matter; wonderfully rich colors and textures; and almost Michelangelo-esquely expressive nudes or near-nudes. The woman in The Nightmare wears a dress so shear that she might as well be nude. Fuseli remains significant today not only because of the psychological impact and beautiful technique of the works but also for his place in the early days of the Romantic art movement that would sweep across nineteenth-century Europe and echo through Western art ever since. Friend to figures such as pioneering feminist Mary Wollstonecraft (whose portrait he painted), her husband, writer and philosopher William Godwin, scientist Joseph Priestley, philosopher Erasmus Darwin, and essayist Thomas Paine, Fuseli helped stage the nightmare of European royalty that Romanticism became in its revolutionary form.

A friend with a much greater appreciation of the fantasy art world recently clued me onto amazing artists such as Michael Parkes and Jeffrey Catherine Jones, whom my friend called “a feminine Frank Frazetta.” I remember buying Conan the Barbarian magazines as a kid and staring at the incredible Frazetta fantasy art (and not just because of Red Sonja). In many ways, Fuseli is the Frazetta of his time, illustrating many classic works of fiction in an imaginative style beyond the works themselves. Working in England, Fuseli couldn’t avoid illustrating the works of William Shakespeare and contributed to a famous Shakespeare Gallery of the time. Fuseli later opened his own gallery featuring his illustrations of John Milton, which were just as amazing as his Shakespeare-inspired paintings but not as commercially successful. I’ve always been drawn to Fuseli’s depictions of Homer’s Iliad, such as Sleep and Death Carrying Away Sarpedon of Lycia (above, from 1803). Sarpedon, a mortal son of Zeus, dies while fighting for the Trojans at the hands of Patroclus. Zeus morns the death of his son and showers the Trojans with bloody raindrops as his tears before asking Sleep and Death to carry Sarpedon’s corpse away. If the Iliad is the original sword and sorcerer tale, then Fuseli is the original Frazetta. The amazing foreshortening of Sarpedon’s lifeless leg brings to mind the finest of the Renaissance draftsmen.

Death and the afterlife may have held a special significance for Fuseli. Before becoming a painter, Fuseli studied to become a priest, even taking orders before having to flee his native Switzerland and become a nomadic writer and artist. Sir Joshua Reynolds, ironically Blake’s antithesis, recognized Fuseli’s talent early on and encouraged him to study art full time, which led Fuseli to make a pilgrimage to Italy and learn from the works of the Renaissance masters. In works such as The Apotheosis of Penelope Boothby (above, from 1792), we see the Renaissance religious sensibility translated by Fuseli into the late Romantic idiom. The angel could easily have fallen from a sixteenth century altarpiece, but the woman clearly rises from the late eighteenth century. Fuseli channels his religious fervor into artistic fervor, making a god of imagery to generate a fantasy of a better place in a world that sometimes seemed godless. I don’t know how strong a believer Fuseli was, but I believe in the power of his images to build entire worlds that seem strangely possible.


Anonymous said...

Replica Rolex
Replica Watches
Rolex Watch
Rolex Replica
fake rolex watch

Anonymous said...

A lot of replica rolex new high quality of the replica watches have Replica watches grown like mushrooms,Replica Watches and one rolex replica watches canReplica rolex Watches get a watch Fake WatchpracticallyFake Rolex everywhere. While Replica Watchesyou are Fake Watchjust having a stroll downFake Watch the street,Replica Rolex watches a guy might Replica Rolex watches come up to you and show you bunch of watches, and tell you that those are the best watch Replicas watches available in the world. On the other hand replica Rolex watches are not replica rolex as abundant Fake Watch as the fakes. Replica Rolex Replica watches are somewhat made with care, with all possible
fake Rolex ways to atleast Replica Watchlook like a Rolex watch. While it is Replica Rolex Watcheasier to spot a fake Rolex watch, it is somewhat difficult to recognize a replica from an original Rolex.

The best Replica watches way to be assured of buying a genuine Rolex watch is to get it from a Rolex authorized Fake Watchdealer. If you should get the watch from any other sources, you would need to understand the unique characteristics of the Rolex watch which you want to buy, as otherwise you may be procuring a replica instead of an original Rolex. Rolex puts particular Replica Rolex Watch identifications in all their watch models which provide a clue of the product that you are buying. These identifications are not available in replica watches, or even if they are available, the identifications are not properly crafted.

One of the first Fake Watches basic things to notice in an original Rolex is that the case back is free from any engravings. The case-back is smooth as ever,Replica Watches with the only exception that there would be a hologram stuck onto it if the watch happens to be new. Replica watches have engravings of a logo or something similar, which is a good indication that Rolex Replicas the watch is not a genuine Rolex. Remaining of the subject matter of holograms, every Rolex replica watchReplica rolex has a hologram stuck on the case-back when shipped new to the dealers Replica Watches all over the world. This is a 3-D hologram which can be viewed at different angles. In case of replica rolex, the sticker stuck on the case-backs are not holograms, and does not have any 3-D effect.

Another basic replica rolex way to identify a genuine Rolex is by its second hand. In most of the Rolex models, the second hand Swiss Replica Watches sweeps the dial with a continuous movement. There are few exceptions, but those models rolex replica are not in production these days. In all of the replica Rolex watches then the quartzrolex replica movement is used in which the second hand stops and moves every second. Replica WatchThere were a few models manufactured in the 1980?s which had quartz movement. This idea was dropped and Rolex replicaes Rolex started to have watches with continuous movement of the second hand. Rolex made the Air King models in 2003 which used quartz movement. In Geneve Cellini, which is a classic brand of Rolex watches, Rolex uses hand wound replica watchesmechanism for gent's models, while the ladies version uses quartz movement.

If you are lucky replica watch enough to buy a solid gold Rolex watch, you will find that the watch is much heavier than its replica model. This is replica rolexbecause the replica uses a base metal which has gold plating. This gold plating wears off in time, and the base metal starts to show. This particularly happens at the corner of the lugs and at the case-back. There are also typical engravings which ensure that the watch is an original Rolex. If you take off the watch band or the strap, you will notice the registered number engraved fake watchinbetween the lugs at "12" position of the dial. Again, you can find the replica rolex serial number of the case engraved on the same place at "6" position of the dial. As for replicas, there are no such engravings.

replica rolexreplica rolex watchesreplica rolex watchreplica watchesreplica rolex watchesrolex replica watchesreplica rolexreplica rolexreplica WATCHESreplica rolexreplica watchesreplica rolexreplica rolexrolex replicareplica watchesreplica watches