Henry Fuseli

The Great Father and Ancient Night

The Great Father and Ancient Night by Henry Fuseli

Artwork Detail

Ancient Night – the towering female figure with the dark cloak – points with an upraised arm to breaking day, while on the left Charon (Death) flees in the boat. The upraised male arms in the foreground are those of Oceanus (the Great Father) who raises pearls to Night.

Recent research by Gallery paper conservators has demonstrated that a number of the drawings now in Auckland Art Gallery’s collection came from an album. A keen collector of entomological drawings, Fuseli may have removed the originals in order that he could use the paper to which they had been stuck.

The Great Father and Ancient Night
Henry Fuseli
Production date
circa 1800-circa 1810
pencil, grey wash and blue wash
665 x 493 x 28 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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