Henry Fuseli

Hamlet, Horatio and the Gravedigger

Hamlet, Horatio and the Gravedigger by Henry Fuseli

Artwork Detail

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.

Hamlet, Horatio and the Gravedigger
Henry Fuseli
Production date
pen with grey, blue and pink wash
372 x 295 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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