1 of 11 portraits of Henry Fuseli
by James Northcote
oil on canvas, feigned incomplete oval, 1778
30 5/8 in. x 25 3/8 in. (778 mm x 645 mm)
Click on the links below to find out more:
Sitterback to top
- Henry Fuseli (1741-1825), Painter. Sitter in 11 portraits, Artist associated with 3 portraits.
Artistback to top
- James Northcote (1746-1831), Painter; pupil and biographer of Sir Joshua Reynolds. Artist associated with 103 portraits, Sitter associated with 23 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Swiss by birth and a clergyman by training, Fuseli came to London in 1764 and worked as a translator and book illustrator. Encouraged by Reynolds to take up painting, he went to Rome in 1770. On his return in 1779, he exhibited works of great power and imagination; his inclination towards the fantastic was given scope in his paintings for Boydell's Shakespeare Gallery and his own Milton Gallery. This portrait was painted in Rome by Northcote who was also studying there.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Bakewell, Michael, Character Sketches: Fitzrovia: London's Bohemia, 1999, p. 5
- Holmes, Richard; Crane, David; Woof, Robert; Hebron, Stephen, Romantics and Revolutionaries: Regency portraits from the National Portrait Gallery, 2002, p. 43
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 234
- Walker, Richard, Regency Portraits, 1985, p. 195
Events of 1778back to top
Current affairsCatholic Relief Act is the first to provide a measure of catholic emancipation, modifying the penal laws that effectively prevented Catholics from holding public office. The reform is encouraged by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Mansfield, who had balked at various prosecutions under the statutes now repealed.
Art and scienceFrancis D'Arblay, writing as Fanny Burney, publishes her novel Evelina, or the History of a Young Lady's Entrance into the World, in which she satirises contemporary society.Engineer Joseph Bramah invents a type of flush toilet, replacing the usual slide valve with a hinged flap that seals the bottom of the bowl.
InternationalAmerican War of Independence: France, joining the American colonies in their fight against Britain, sends a large fleet across the Atlantic. The British rapidly abandon Philadelphia. The American naval hero John Paul Jones makes successful raids around the coasts of Britain.James Cook's third Pacific voyage, aboard the ships HMS Resolution and HMS Discovery, first views Oahu then Kauai in the Hawaiian Islands, which Cook names the Sandwich Islands.
See this portrait
On display in Room 12 at the National Portrait Gallery
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