Henry Fuseli

Parental care

Artwork Detail

The source for this drawing comes from an engraving by the Swiss artist Conrad Meyer (1618–1689), in which a couple are shown in their dotage, their offspring wearing appropriate expressions of filial care and respect. Part of a series on the ages of man, it reflects the motto ‘Those children who do not look after their old parents will not be looked after by theirs.’ By contrast, Fuseli’s ancient couple remain heroic in spite of their physical collapse, yet one senses that their children find their duty is also a tyranny.

Parental care
Henry Fuseli
Production date
circa 1795-circa 1800
pen and ink with grey and blue wash
192 x 288 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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