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The Life And Writings Of Henry Fuseli, Esq. M.A. R.A. Keeper, And Professor Of Painting To The Royal Academy In London; Member Of The First Class Of The Academy Of St. Luke At Rome. The Former Written, And The Latter Edited By John Knowles, F.R.S. Corresponding Member Of The Philosophical Society At Rotterdam, His Executor. In Three Volumes. Vol. I. (-III.)

Henry Fuseli RA

RA Collection: Book

Record number




London:: Henry Colburn And Richard Bentley, New Burlington Street., MDCCCXXXI.

Physical Description

3 vols.; 212 mm. (Octavo.)

General Note

Vol. I: xvi, 439, [1] p., frontis. - Vol. II: [iv], 391, [1] p. - Vol. III: [iv], 408 p.


Vol. I: [Frontis., t.p., dedic.] - Advertisement - Contents of The First Volume - [Text]; [colophon]. - Vol. II: [T.p.] - Contents Of The Second Volume - Introduction - [Text]; [colophon]. - Vol. III: [T.p.] - Contents Of The Third Volume - [Text]; [colophon].

Responsibility Note

The frontispiece portrait in Volume I is captioned, 'Henry Fuseli Esqre. Engraved by Dean from a Painting by Harlow.

It carries the imprint of the publishers, Henry Colburn & Richard Bentley, and the date (1830).

The printer is named on the title-page versos and in the colophons: 'London: Printed By Samuel Bentley, Dorset-street, Fleet-street.'

The work is dedicated by John Knowles to Susan, Countess Dowager of Guilford, Baroness North and Guilford.


H. Fuseli, The collected English letters of Henry Fuseli, ed. D.H. Weinglass (1982); G. Schiff, Henry Fuseli [exhibition catalogue] (1975); G. Schiff, Johann Heinich Fussli: oeuvre-catalog (1973).

Summary Note

The first volume contains Knowles's biography of Fuseli. The second and third re-print Fuseli's own writings - in Volume II his lectures I-X, in Volume III his lectures XI-XII, Aphorisms and A history of art in the schools of Italy.

The lectures are on the following topics: I. Ancient art; II. Art of the moderns; III, IV. Invention; V. Composition, Expression; VI. Chiaroscuro; VII. Design; VIII. Colour in fresco painting; IX. Colour - oil painting; X. The method of fixing a standard and defining the proportions of the human frame, with directions to the student in copying the life; XI. The prevailing method of treating the history of painting, with observations on the picture of Lionardo Da Vinci of 'The Last Supper'; XII. The present state of art, and the causes which check its progress.

Fuseli had been Professor of Painting in the Royal Academy for 1799-1805 and 1810-1825. He had begun his lectures in 1801 - and the first three were published in that year.

The Aphorisms, which Fuseli began to compose in 1788, the year in which he published his translation of Lavater's 'Aphorisms On Man', had been published in their complete form in 1818.

The only illustration is the frontispiece portrait of Fuseli in Volume I.


The work was reprinted in 1983 (3 vols.), with a new introduction by D.H. Weinglass (Millwood, NY: Kraus) (ISBN 0527318957).


In Volume I a front endpaper is inscribed in ink, 'For the Library of the Royal Academy from Harriet Jane Moore 1838', and the title-page is inscribed in ink, 'Presented to the Royal Academy by Harriet Jane Moore 1838. G.I.'

Binding Note

19th-century calf; spines lettered 'Fuseli 1(-3)'.


Art - Theory
Artists - Great Britain - History - 18th century - 19th century
Biography - Lectures - Essays - Aphorisms - Great Britain - 19th century


John Knowles, editor, contributor
Henry Colburn, publisher
Richard Bentley, publisher
George Henry Harlow, source artist
T.A. Dean, engraver
Samuel Bentley, printer
Susan North, Countess of Guilford, dedicatee
Harriet Jane Moore, previous owner, donor