The New International Encyclopædia/Füessli

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FÜESSLI, fusle, or FÜSSLI. A Swiss family, originally from Zurich, several members of which were artists. Matthias, called The Old (1598-1665), the first engraver-painter of the family, studied in Italy, and produced some excellent battle-pictures and portraits. A descendant, Johann Kaspar (1707-82), also an artist, painted portraits, but is celebrated for his work on Swiss artists, Geschichte und Abbildungen der besten Künstler in der Schweiz (1769-79). Another descendant was Johann Heinrich (1742-1825), born at Zurich, and called in England Henry Fuseli. He studied in Berlin, London, and Italy, and finally made his home in London. In 1786 he painted a series of pictures illustrating Shakespeare, and these were followed in 1799 by forty-nine paintings for Paradise Lost. His powerful imagination makes these curious works, often purely metaphysical, very interesting; but he was not a colorist, and he never considered the factor of beauty. He became professor at the Royal Academy, and gave some lectures on art which were in many ways remarkable. He wrote a dictionary of painters, some notes on Swiss art, and a study of Michelangelo. An edition of most of his works was published in Zurich (1808).