Henry Fuseli, R.A.
- Henry Fuseli, R.A.
- King Amycus of Bebryces
- Pen and brown ink over pencil;
inscribed lower left: Σαρκι σιδαρειη σφυρηλατος οια κολοσσος
- 440 by 281 mm
with P. & D. Colnaghi, London,
by whom sold to John R. Gaines (1929-2005);
by family descent to the present owners
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Fuseli, a learned artist, had been introduced to the writings of Homer, the Nibelungenlied, Dante, Shakespeare and Milton while still a boy in Zurich and throughout his long and brilliant career he constantly mined his library for inspiration. His fascination with the classical world was enhanced when he went to live in Rome (between 1770 and 1779) on the advice of Sir Joshua Reynolds. During this period, he became fascinated by classical art and architecture, Mannerism and in particular Michelangelo. Thus the present figure of King Amycus would appear to be particularly inspired by the damned souls that populate the right hand side of Michelangelo’s Last Judgement (Sistine Chapel, Vatican).
The present work once belonged to John R. Gaines who formed an exceptionally fine collection of works on paper during the 1970s and 1980s. In November 1986, Sotheby’s held his legendary sale, the forty-six lots including examples of work by Leonardo, Raphael, Veronese, Van Dyck, Claude Lorrain, Rembrandt, Turner, Monet, Seurat, Van Gogh and Picasso, amongst others. The present work was not included in that auction, but remained instead with John R. Gaines and subsequent to his death, with his family.