Henry Fuseli

Bust Portrait of Mrs Fuseli

Bust Portrait of Mrs Fuseli by Henry Fuseli

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Fuseli had a passion for wildly exaggerating his wife Sophia’s complicated wigs, comparing her head and hairstyles to ‘the head of fair-faced Medusa’. According to some legends, Medusa was a beautiful woman who had her hair transformed into snakes by Athena. Because anyone who looked on her face was turned to stone, Medusa became a popular decoration on warriors’ shields.

Title
Bust Portrait of Mrs Fuseli
Artist/creator
Production date
circa 1795
Medium
pen with black and blue wash, heightened with white (brush and wash worked up with gouache)
Dimensions
174 x 144 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1965
Accession no
1965/48
Copyright
No known copyright restrictions
Department
International Art
Display status
Not on display

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