Henry Fuseli

A Scene from Timon of Athens

Artwork Detail

When over-generous Timon wastes his fortune on others, he ruefully discovers that while everyone loves a rich man, very few love a poor one. Fleeing Athens, he finds shelter in a cave, only to discover a cache of gold. Alicbiades seeks him out, accompanied by two courtesans, Phrynia and Timandra, and Timon gives him enough gold to attack Athens on his behalf. In his essay ‘Of the Sublime’, Jonathon Richardson translated the quote inscribed on this drawing as ‘Man is the dream of a shadow’, linking the text to Shakespeare’s ‘We are such stuff as dreams are made on’. (Tempest Act 4, Scene 1)

A Scene from Timon of Athens
Henry Fuseli
Production date
pen and brown ink with brown, yellow and pink wash on oiled paper
205 x 299 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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