Record number 03/2265
Author Fuseli, Henry, R.A., 1741 - 1825
TitleLectures On Painting, Delivered At The Royal Academy March 1801, By Henry Fuseli, P.P. With Additional Observations And Notes.
ImprintLondon:: Printed For J. Johnson, St. Paul's Church-Yard., 1801.
Physical Description[vi], 151, [1] p.: [2] illus.; 265 mm. (Quarto.)
Content Format Note[T.p., dedic.] - [Text].
Summary NoteFuseli originally delivered these three lectures as Professor of Painting in the Royal Academy - a post to which he had been appointed in 1799. He had already published translations of Winckelmann and Lavater, an essay on Rousseau and reviews of books and exhibitions.

In these three Lectures - they are on 'Ancient Art', 'Modern Art' and 'Invention' - he deprecates personal eccentricity, violent themes and the influence of Italian mannerism, advocates selection from nature and praises classical art and Italian painting of the Roman and Florentine schools. He declares Expression, as shown in Rembrandt and Caravaggio, to be a higher goal than the ideal beauty advocated by Winckelmann.

The title-page vignette shows seated female figure with bowed head, inscribed in Greek, 'Siga', i.e. 'Be silent'; the tail-piece shows a standing male figure intended to represent Michelangelo, inscribed in Italian, 'Ancora imparo. [i.e. 'I am still learning'] M: Angelo Bonarotti.'

Six of Fuseli's lectures to the Royal Academy were published in 1820; and all twelve in 1831 in J. Knowles's The Life and writings of Henry Fuseli.
Responsibility NoteThe title-page vignette is signed as engraved by F. Legat; the tail-piece, as engraved by Blake.

The work is dedicated by The Author to William Lock, Esq. Of Norbury Park.
SubjectArt - Painting - Theory - History
Lectures - Art history - Great Britain - 19th century
Name as Subject Royal Academy of Arts (London)
ReferencesJ. Barrell, The political theory of painting from Reynolds to Hazlitt (1986), p.258-307; E.C. Mason, The mind of Henry Fuseli: selections from his writings (1951).

The Blake engraving is listed in R.N. Essick, William Blake's commercial book illustrations (1991), no. XL, and G.E. Bentley, Blake books (1977), no. 459.
Binding Note[First copy:] Contemporary red morocco; gilt borders on upper and lower covers; spine lettered 'Fuseli Lectures'.

[Second copy:] 19th-century calf; red morocco spine-label lettered 'Fuseli's Pilkington And Discourses'. Bound with a copy of Fuseli's revised edition of Matthew Pilkington's Dictionary of painters, 1805 (q.v.).
Provenance[First copy:] Inscribed in ink on a preliminary blank leaf in Fuseli's hand, 'From the Author'. Recorded in RAA Library, Catalogue, 1802.

[Second copy:] Presented in memory of Julian Trevelyan RA by Mary Fedden RA, December 1988.
Contributors Legat, Francis, 1755 - 1809, engraver
Blake, William, 1757 - 1827, engraver
Lock, William, the younger, 1767 - 1847, dedicatee
Johnson, Joseph, 1738 - 1809, publisher
Hansard, Luke, 1752 - 1828, printer
Fuseli, Henry, R.A., 1741 - 1825, previous owner, donor
Fedden, Mary, R.A., 1915 - 2012, previous owner, donor
Royal Academy of Arts (London). Professor of Painting
MARC Record view
Images from this book
plate 2
plate 3