Artwork Title: Study for a self-portrait, showing the artist’s face cupped in hands - Artist Name: Henry Fuseli

Study for a self-portrait, showing the artist’s face cupped in hands

Henry Fuseli

Study for a self-portrait, showing the artist’s face cupped in hands This intense self-portrait shows Fuseli in his forties. He was a man known for his witty character and for defying convention, and yet he portrays himself in a pose of melancholy and self-questioning. His fists are clenched as if he would like to draw our attention to them as his most important artistic tools. The drawing has been dated 1780-1790, thus falling into the period after Fuseli’s return to Britain in 1779. It shows the artist at the age of about 40 years in a pose of melancholy and self-questioning, yet also defiance. The meaning of the inscription ‘Wickstead’ by an unknown hand remains unclear. According to Powell, the close resemblance to other known self-portraits allows the assumption that the drawing represents indeed Fuseli and not Philip Wickstead, a contemporary of his. Furthermore, the strokes in the shading undoubtedly identify Fuseli as the executor of this drawing, slanting from upper left to lower right. Fuseli was ambidextrous, but practically always drew left-handed as he was left with a weaker right hand after an illness. (http://onlyartists.tumblr.com/page/144)
self portrait

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