Male nude and seated hermit (recto); Male nude (verso) Artist: Henry Fuseli (Swiss, active in England, 1741–1825)

ca. 1790–1800

Prints and Drawings

The son of the painter Johann Caspar Füssli, Henry Fuseli first studied theology and literature and only later decided to become an artist. He developed a dramatic, individual style with a focus on human psychology, an early manifestation of the Romanticism that would prevail in the early nineteenth century. His works consist mainly of history paintings with subjects of his own invention (including his famous Nightmare) or from Shakespeare, Milton, and Dante. The nude in this drawing is adapted from Michelangelo’s Battle of Cascina, and the inscription is a line from the Ugolino story in Dante’s Inferno that describes the hills, “because of which the Pisans cannot see Lucca.” The line must have come to Fuseli’s mind because the hills that Dante describes rise above the plain of Cascina, where the battle that Michelangelo depicted took place. The seated hermit seems unrelated to either the nude or the Ugolino story.


Pen and brown ink


sheet: 12 1/2 × 7 11/16 in. (31.8 × 19.5 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of John S. Thacher, B.A. 1927

Accession Number



18th century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



John S. Thacher, Washington, D.C.
  • Lisa Hodermarsky, Suzanne Boorsch, and John J. Marciari, Master Drawings from the Yale University Art Gallery, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2006), 215–17, no. 73, ill
Object copyright
Additional information


WM: Large Garden of Holland / Maid of Delft with "Pro Patria"


Verically along left edge: inscr. w/ pen & brown ink reverse B.l. "Perch' I Pisan' Lucca veder non ponno"


Fussli, Johann Heinrich 1741 - 1825

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