Paintings

Description of the painting by Henry Fussley "Nightmare"


“Nightmare” is a famous painting by a horror master, an artist who anticipated the art of his time, Henry Fussley. Gloomy and grotesque she frightened and caused a storm of reactions from the public. Critics associate it with a splash of the unconscious, in which sleep and horror are intertwined into a single whole. No wonder the canvas was in the reception room of the famous Dr. Freud, who paid great attention to the interpretation of dreams.

The picture depicts a girl lying on the bed. It is difficult to say whether she is sleeping or is in a deep faint. Her body is elongated and gracefully curved, which once again emphasizes the heaviness and absurdity of the demon sitting on the girl’s stomach.

From behind the curtains, the head of a black horse with whitish, frightening eyes appears. This image gives a reference to demon possession - the desire for a mythological plot, characteristic of the era of late Romanism.

A snow-white body, exquisitely written fabric of a nightgown, tapestries and bedspreads contrasts with the heavy dark background, which accentuates the victim's helplessness, a suffocating wave of approaching horror. Art historians continue to argue over whether demon possession has a sexual connotation.

Despite the frankly gloomy mood of the canvas, it is not without poetry - chiaroscuro, transitions of shades, flowing softness of the fabric are expertly written. The geometry of the work is built on smooth bends and rounded shapes. Feels impeccable sense of style of Venetian painting.

Obviously, the artist was also inspired by Gothic literature, German legends of evil spirits and the works of the great Michelangelo. The picture is a bizarre mixture of nightmare, sensuality and eroticism. This technique runs through the entire creative path of Fussley with a red thread. The masterpiece is in the public domain of the Detroit Institute of the Arts.





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