Henry Fuseli

Zephyros, the West Wind

c. 1813-1816
Among the most visually literate of artists, Fuseli was familiar with a vast range of works of art, both ancient and modern. He copied numerous engravings in Stuart and Revett's widely influential The Antiquities of Athens (1762-1830), a plate of which was the inspiration for this drawing. From an illustration of one of the reliefs of the wind gods on the Tower of the Winds, the artist developed this strking flying figure, who is scattering flowers with his left hand from his cloak-like pouch. Such subtle allusions to Antiquity are typical in Fuseli's work, although he has transformed his prototype into one his own distinctive beings, which has also a very strong Blakean flavour. This recently discovered drawing was part of an album assembled by Harriet Jane Moore, whose father and grandfather were both friends of the artis. It was purchased by the Nationall Gallery in April 1992 when the album was dispersed at auction.
Artist
Title
Zephyros, the West Wind
Date
c. 1813-1816
Medium
Drawing
Materials
pen and brown ink (iron gall) over graphite on ivory laid paper
Dimensions
20.3 x 30.8 cm
Nationality
British
Credit line
Purchased 1992
Accession number
36170r