Henry Fuseli: Macbeth Consulting the Vision of the Armed Head

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On view in the Painting Shakespeare exhibition
May 13, 2017 – Feb 11, 2018 

Curated by Erin Blake

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Henry Fuseli's "Macbeth Confronting the Vision of the Armed Head" in Painting Shakespeare
Item Title: 
Henry Fuseli. Macbeth consulting the vision of the armed head. Oil on canvas with original inscribed frame, 1793
Item Call Number: 
FPa27, with frame
Item Creator: 
Fuseli, Henry, 1741-1825.
Item Date: 
1793

Henry Fuseli's Macbeth Consulting the Vision of the Armed Head is considered a great work of art in its own right and has been loaned to exhibitions at Kunsthaus Zürich (2005), Tate Britain (2006), and the Art Institute of Chicago (2015), among others.

Fuseli's image of the cauldron scene draws on his fascination with fantasy, terror, and the supernatural. Painted for the Irish Shakespeare Gallery in Dublin in 1793, it is still in its original frame.

In A Catalogue of Paintings in the Folger Shakespeare Library, William L. Pressly writes that "Fuseli considered [it] one of his best poetical conceptions. One critic was so impressed on seeing it exhibited in 1794 in London at the New Shakespeare Gallery that he wrote that it was 'perhaps the very best picture he has ever painted.'"

See more paintings in Painting Shakespeare.