Henry Fuseli

Chriemhild throwing herself on the body of Siegfried, assassinated by Hagen

Chriemhild throwing herself on the body of Siegfried, assassinated by Hagen by Henry Fuseli

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A complicated tale of class, conquest, betrayal and

deceit, chapter 17 of the Nibelungenlied describes

how one of King Gunther’s vassals, Hagen von Tronje, dishonourably kills Siegfried by throwing a javelin at the mark on his jacket which indicates the one place where he is not invincible. The movement of the figures on either side create a swirling effect in Fuseli’s drawing, heightened by the curved line of Siegfried’s shield. Chriemhild goes on to avenge his death and the loss of her treasure by imprisoning Hagen, to whom she presents the decapitated head of her brother Gunther. She in turn meets a gruesome death.

Title
Chriemhild throwing herself on the body of Siegfried, assassinated by Hagen
Artist/creator
Production date
1805
Medium
pen and ink with brown wash
Dimensions
186 x 319 mm
Inscription
Insc: P (Purser's) Crofs. 23 May 05
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1965
Accession no
1965/60
Copyright
No known copyright restrictions
Department
International Art
Display status
Not on display

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