Henry Fuseli

Hamlet, Horatio and the Gravedigger

Hamlet, Horatio and the Gravedigger by Henry Fuseli

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Taken from Shakespeare’s Hamlet (Act 5, Scene 1), the composition is adapted from Veronese’s St John the Baptist Preaching (Galleria Borghese, Rome) which Fuseli would have seen in an exhibition at the Louvre in 1802. The influence of Michelangelo can also be seen in the treatment of the gravedigger. The composition draws the spectator into the space of the grave, thus heightening the force of Hamlet’s reflective speech on the nature of death.

Title
Hamlet, Horatio and the Gravedigger
Artist/creator
Production date
1804
Medium
pen with grey, blue and pink wash
Dimensions
372 x 295 mm
Inscription
Feb, 1804
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1965
Accession no
1965/78
Copyright
No known copyright restrictions
Department
International Art
Display status
Not on display

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