Henry Fuseli

Siegfried having slain Fafner the snake

Siegfried having slain Fafner the snake by Henry Fuseli

Artwork Detail

Taken from the Nibelungenlied (ch. III), the scene shows the hero Siegfried after he has killed Fafner the snake and bathed in its blood. In doing so Seigfried hardens his skin so that no weapon can bite into it. In the tale the hero is dominated by women, and Fuseli makes subtle reference to this in Siegfried's androgynous hairstyle, which hints at the feminine attributes symbolised by the snake in Christian iconography. (Monsters and Maidens, 2004)

Siegfried having slain Fafner the snake
Henry Fuseli
Production date
pen, pencil and grey wash
348 x 237 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1965
Accession no
No known copyright restrictions
International Art
Display status
Not on display

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