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Transcript of Episode 9: Fiends, Frankenstein, and Fuseli

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One of the unique things that visual artists can do is make visible those things that are otherwise invisible—whether that’s intellectual concepts, or psychological states, or the movement of air. They can take metaphors and visualize them, make them feel real and concrete. They can turn a pun into a picture. For a long time in Western art, however, there was a limit to the kinds of visualizations many artists undertook. Usually they were confined to the realm of allegory, creating an anthropomorphized version of an intellectual concept, like charity or poetry. More sensational and experimental visualizations of concepts weren’t high-minded enough for the Western artistic establishment—but there were always exceptions, and in eighteenth-century Britain, that exception was Henry Fuseli. Fuseli was a Swiss-born artist who came to be known for tackling particularly scandalous subject matter. He painted the erotic and the disturbing, and sometimes both at once, as he did in the painting we’ll discuss in this episode, entitled The Nightmare. The Nightmare, especially the version currently at the Detroit Institute of Arts, became a symbol of the type of Gothic horror that was becoming popular around the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth centuries. It’s often closely associated with Mary Shelley’s science fiction masterpiece Frankenstein. But it’s not just an encapsulation of a genre particular to Regency Britain—it references much older and more deeply rooted horrors, and foreshadows many of the tropes we see in more modern horror content today. Turn off the lights, let your imagination run wild, and let’s explore the terrors of Henry Fuseli’s The Nightmare.

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A description of Henry Fuseli’s  The Nightmare, oil on canvas, 1781.

A pale blonde woman lies limply on a bed, her body positioned so that her head, arms, and upper torso hang down off the bed at the far right of the picture. She is wearing a simple white dress. On her abdomen crouches a small, deformed, humanoid creature with bulging eyes, pointed ears, and a bald head. It looks straight at the viewer. The entire room is hung with deep red curtains, which match the mussed red covers on the bed. The creature’s shadow falls on one of these red curtains, right next to where the curtains part in the left half of the image to reveal a black horse poking its head through. The horse’s mane is wild, its mouth is open, and its eyes are a solid white. In the foreground at the far left of the painting is a nightstand with two bottles and a couple of boxes, giving the viewer a sense that, despite the fantastic nature of the scene, this horror is taking place in a real person’s bedroom.

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This painting is definitely weird—it was weird in 1781, and it’s weird now. And its creator, Henry Fuseli, was also considered pretty weird. Born in Switzerland, he had a brief career as a writer and translator in London before he decided to dedicate his career to art. Throughout his artistic career he maintained a disdain for the approach of more mainstream British painters like Sir Joshua Reynolds, and instead focused on dramatic, expressive images, many of which depict the supernatural or the fantastical. All this is evident in The Nightmare, from the unrealistic angle of the unconscious woman’s body, to the dramatic contrasts of light and shadow, to, of course, the incubus and spectral horse that make this so totally unlike most of the other art of the eighteenth century. There is a sense that Fuseli consciously cultivated this uniqueness—The Nightmare was one of hundreds of paintings submitted to the annual exhibition of Britain’s Royal Academy of Arts, where every artist in Britain who wished to make a name for themselves showed their work. Unlike most art galleries and museums today, the paintings at the RA exhibition weren’t hung in one single row, evenly spaced out to allow each painting its due. Instead, they were hung virtually from floor to ceiling, packing as many pictures as possible into one gallery. This meant that the paintings that got the most attention tended to either be the biggest or the most sensational. In eighteenth century Britain, this often meant that large-scale portraits of aristocrats or other famous people got pride of place, while other types of painting were likely to be overlooked. Fuseli appears to have been keenly aware of this problem, and used his flair for the dramatic to his advantage, submitting images to the Academy for several years in a row that were intended to scandalize or challenge norms. Often, he drew on works of literature for his subject matter, usually Shakespeare’s plays or John Milton’s epic Paradise Lost. What was unique about The Nightmare, however, is that it didn’t seem to be drawn from any literary source at all. Fuseli had done something like this before, when he submitted a painting to the 1780 exhibition featuring characters he had invented, characters that nonetheless looked like they could have stepped right out of some epic medieval tale.[1] But The Nightmare had no pretensions of being an illustration of literature. And that was deeply disconcerting to many, including one reviewer, who called it, quote, “a strange enthusiastic whim…[that] appear[s] to be the artful effusions of a distempered brain.”[2] End quote. Another reviewer had a much more favorable take, calling The Nightmare, quote, “not only well-conceived, but well-executed…The whole produces the effect very powerfully.”[3] End quote. The Nightmare was polarizing, and yet, it seemed to immediately cement itself in the popular imagination as a quintessential image of horror and the dream state.

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While many viewers at the time couldn’t identify a specific source or point of origin for The Nightmare, Fuseli’s focus on the supernatural elements of British folklore in his larger body of work has allowed art historians to propose some other influences that may have led to the creation of The Nightmare. These ideas are also based to some extent in a poem that was printed alongside the image when it was copied and sold in print form. Fuseli’s friend Erasmus Darwin—the botanist and grandfather of Charles—wrote the following lines to accompany the print version of The Nightmare:

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“So on his NIGHTMARE through the evening fog

Flits the squab fiend o’er fen, and lake and bog;

Seeks some love-[be]wildered maid with sleep oppressed,

Alights, and grinning sits upon her breast.”[4]

The poem was published with these further lines in newspapers and literary magazines:

“Such as of late amid the murky sky

Was marked by Fuseli’s poetic eye:

Whose daring tints, with Shakespeare’s happiest grace,

Gave to the airy Nothing, form and place.

Back o’er her pillow sinks her blushing head,

Her snow-white limbs hang helpless from the bed;

While with quick sighs and suffocative breath,

Her interrupted heart-pulse swims in death.

Then shrieks of captured towns,  and widows tears,

Pale lovers stretch’d upon their blood-stain’d biers;

The headlong precipice that thwarts her flight,

The trackless desert, the cold starless night;

And stern-eyed murtherer [sic] with his knife behind,

In dread succession agonies her mind,

O’er her fair limbs convulsive tremors fleet,

Start in her hands, and struggle in her feet;

In vain she wills to run, fly, swim, walk, creep—

The will presides not in the bower of sleep.

Squat on her breast the ponderous demon clings,

Mocks all her groans, and flaps his leathern wings.”[5]

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If we take the poem as an explanation of the image, it becomes clear that this is not just any nightmare being depicted, but a very specific form of nightmare. Erasmus Darwin later wrote in 1789 that, quote, “when there arises in sleep a painful desire to exert the voluntary motions, it is called the Nightmare or Incubus.”[6] End quote. This is not only a bad dream—it could be a depiction of night terrors or, as art historian John F. Moffitt suggests, demonic possession.[7] This second idea is further supported by the fact that the little creature sitting on the woman’s chest is referred to repeatedly in contemporary reviews and later art historical studies as an incubus, a masculine demon that is “supposed to descend upon persons in their sleep, and especially to seek carnal intercourse with women.”[8] The sexual dimension of the whole concept is enhanced by both the image and the poem: the setting, with its lush draperies, mussed bedclothes, and woman clad in a filmy chemise, brings to mind bedroom activities. The language of the poem emphasizes the same thing, with terms like love-bewildered, blushing, quick sighs, pale lovers, and “convulsive tremors” in the woman’s “fair limbs”. The horrific is combined with the sensual, made possible by a fairly plain reference to a demon who performs his mischief through sexual means.

The concept of the incubus does pop up in literature, specifically the literature of witchcraft, according to Moffitt. Since around 1486, when Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger published the Malleus Maleficarum, or The Hammer of Witches, which became the primary witch-hunting manual for religious zealots of the time, subsequent authors interested in the phenomenon of witchcraft had continued to publish on the subject, and drew much of their information from the Malleus Maleficarum.[9] Moffitt points specifically to an encyclopedia of demons written by Italian priest Ludovico Maria Sinistrari and published in 1754.[10] While we can’t be sure that Fuseli knew specifically about Sinistrari’s encyclopedia when he conceived the Nightmare, it is within the realm of possibility, especially since Fuseli was well-educated and had originally intended to become a minister, which may have put him in contact with some more obscure religious texts. Whether or not late eighteenth century viewers would have been aware of the specific pedigree of the “squab fiend” in The Nightmare, knowing about it adds an extra dimension of the macabre and the mysterious to the image.

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The Nightmare’s possible connections to a history of the horrific are almost as interesting as its real connections to the increasingly popular Gothic literature of the late eighteenth century and, ultimately, what we consider horror media today. The Gothic novel emerged at the end of the 18th century as an even more scandalous form of an already morally dubious genre: the novel. If more conservative members of society felt novels were of little moral value or a waste of young people’s time and intelligence, Gothic novels were positively degenerate, an accusation that was not totally unfounded, given the fact that Gothic literature was usually far more sensual than the average book. Martin Myrone, lead curator of British art to 1800 at the Tate Gallery in London, discusses how some of the criticisms leveled at Fuseli were also leveled at Gothic literature: both were described as “libertine,” and their common interest in the dramatic, the sensational, and the transparently erotic were “self-evident.”[11] Myrone attributes the increasing interest in the brand of spectacular drama presented by both Fuseli and Gothic authors to a frustration with the “high-minded,” “heroic” art of earlier on in the century, when the Enlightenment was in full swing and Rationalism prevailed.[12] The Gothic, says Myrone, quote, “took shape as a means of conveying heroic sentiments in a spectacular fashion.”[13] End quote. Heroism and idealism were beginning to seem more like folly than a reality that could be achieved, so it was easier and more appealing to cast them in theatrical terms than to try and frame them realistically.

The Nightmare takes a long-standing motif—the fainting damsel—and sets it in a theatrical context, complete with red backdrop curtains. But this is not any ordinary damsel-in-distress situation: the danger is not lurking just off to the side, but front and center. The incubus looks straight at the viewer, almost mockingly, knowing that the viewer cannot enter the picture plane and rescue the woman. It plays on the anxiety created by the absence of a hero, the absence of resolution or salvation. This ambiguity and anxiety made The Nightmare a perfect point of inspiration for others interested in the Gothic and the horrific, most notably Mary Shelley and her masterpiece Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus, published in 1831. The painting is quite clearly evoked in the scene in which the Creature murders Victor Frankenstein’s wife Elizabeth, particularly the following passage:

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“She was there, lifeless and inanimate, thrown across the bed, her head hanging down and her pale and distorted features half covered by her hair. Everywhere I turn I see the same figure—her bloodless arms and relaxed form flung by the murderer on the bridal bier…While I still hung over her in the agony of despair, I happened to look up. The windows of the room had before been darkened, and I felt a kind of panic on seeing the pale yellow light of the moon illuminate the chamber. The shutters had been thrown back, and with a sensation of horror not to be described, I saw at the open window a figure the most hideous and abhorred. A grin was on the face of the monster; he seemed to jeer, as with his fiendish finger he pointed towards the corpse of my wife. I rushed towards the window, and drawing a pistol from my bosom, fired; but he eluded me, leaped from his station, and running with the swiftness of lightning, plunged into the lake.”[14]

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This is not just a spooky coincidence of imagery: Mary Shelley was well aware of Fuseli and The Nightmare, more so than most because her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, had had an affair with Fuseli.[15] What the exact nature of the affair was remains unclear, but Mary Wollstonecraft, author of the proto-feminist text A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, and her husband William Godwin were political radicals who frequented the same circles as Fuseli. At some point, Mary Wollstonecraft even wrote Fuseli a number of love letters that her daughter tried to get back from Fuseli after her death. Maryanne C. Ward, in an article on the links between The Nightmare and Shelley’s Frankenstein, argues that Mary Shelley’s familial connections to Fuseli further informed her use of Nightmare-like imagery in Frankenstein. Specifically, Ward asserts that Mary Shelley associated her mother’s affair with Fuseli with her death and subsequent disgrace as a result of intimate details of Wollstonecraft’s life being revealed in William Godwin’s posthumous memoir.[16] Ward elaborates on this, saying, quote: “…The painting reflects…Mary Shelley’s thematic linking of sex…and death. The painting is darkly erotic and is linked to her mother’s earliest sexual experience. At the same time, the image suggests violation and/or death and was created by the man who in Mary Shelley’s mind helped put an end to her mother’s literary life. Her mother was certainly one of the women whom Fuseli’s incubus touched, and the result was perhaps sex, but most certainly literary obscurity, the death of her work and influence.”[17] End quote. Ward frames Fuseli himself as the incubus, which is somewhat in keeping with commentary from the late eighteenth century that characterized the Swiss painter as wild, mad, or even as a disease: artist Maria Cosway was said to have “caught the Fuzeli” because her style was so heavily influenced by his.[18] To make matters even creepier, a number of art historians cite a passage in one of Fuseli’s early letters as a possible inspiration for the painting. In it, the young Fuseli expresses a fantasy about a woman he’d fallen in love with named Anna, who was about to marry someone else. This sentence in particular is eerily reminiscent of his later painting: quote, “Last night I had her in bed with me—tossed my bedclothes hugger-mugger—wound my hot and tight-clasped hands about her—fused her body and her soul together with my own—poured into her my spirit, breath, and strength.”[19] End quote. Fuseli’s fantastical painting has links to real-life desires, in particular tragic and unrequited desires. And whether Fuseli saw himself as the incubus in The Nightmare or not, the sexual dimension of the painting has followed it through the ages beyond its early reference in Shelley’s Frankenstein.

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Among the many contexts in which The Nightmare has been referenced is in a story by everyone’s favorite spooky guy, cousin-kisser, and substance-abuser Edgar Allan Poe, whose short story “The Fall of the House of Usher” contains a direct reference to Fuseli’s work:

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“From the paintings over which his elaborate fancy brooded, and which grew, touch by touch, into vagueness at which I shuddered the more thrillingly, because I shuddered knowing not why—from these paintings (vivid as their images now are before me) I would in vain endeavor to educe more than a small portion which should lie within the compass of merely written words. By the utter simplicity, by the nakedness of his designs, he arrested and overawed attention. If ever mortal painted an idea, that mortal was Roderick Usher. For me at least, in the circumstances then surrounding me, there arose out of the pure abstractions which the hypochondriac contrived to throw upon his canvas, an intensity of tolerable awe, no shadow of which felt I ever yet in the contemplation of the certainly glowing yet too concrete reveries of Fuseli.”[20]

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Poe’s run-on sentences may make this reference a little confusing to some, but essentially the narrator finds similarities between Fuseli’s work and that of his host, Roderick Usher. That Poe makes a Fuseli reference in an 1839 short story attests to how quickly Fuseli’s work in general—and, most likely, The Nightmare specifically—became associated with the horror genre. In fact, The Nightmare seems to be an origin point, or at least an early concrete expression, of tropes that persist into horror stories even today. The sense that the viewer is seeing something they shouldn’t, caught in the incubus’s jeering gaze, is reminiscent of the moment in so many tales of terror when the audience-surrogate makes a horrifying discovery. The fainting, blonde woman could so easily be replaced by the often blonde damsels in distress of modern horror films, caught unawares in their most intimate moments by a horrible creature who is attracted to their youth, or their sexuality, or their apparent purity.

Sigmund Freud, who is known for his suspicious focus on sexuality in psychoanalysis, was apparently also attracted to the union between sexuality and horror in Fuseli’s Nightmare, and allegedly had a copy of the painting hanging in his apartment. He also used the image as a frontispiece for his 1931 book On the Nightmare.[21] Freud’s emphasis on the interpretation of dreams and sex as the basis of…well, everything, makes The Nightmare kind of a perfect decoration for both his personal life and his work. The methodologies and motivations behind Freud’s theories have been proven to be deeply flawed, or even, according to some, based in Freud’s own denial of the prevalence of sexual assault and child abuse amongst the well-heeled people he examined. Whatever the case, The Nightmare continues to be associated with Freudian psychoanalysis and psychosexual horror, which further strengthens the painting’s status as a point of origin for modern horror media.

This focus on gender and sexuality in horror is perhaps the element of Fuseli’s work that has maintained the most persistent presence in modern horror. Often, horror stories are based in other societal anxieties, as I mentioned earlier in relation to eighteenth-century anxieties regarding a loss of faith in the possibility of masculine heroism and reason. The other side of that coin is, of course, anxiety over women’s place in society in the absence of that type of heroism. It’s a particularly gendered version of the long-standing conflict between proponents of capital-R Reason and the specter of capital-F Feeling. Without the classically-founded, masculine virtue of Reason to guide Western society to its highest point, we are in danger of succumbing to Feeling, which is traditionally feminine. Concerns around novels and the Gothic were an extension of this anxiety—this was not reasonable, moralizing, improving literature, but literature of feeling that particularly appealed to women. Anxieties about potential changes in the status of women, which Mary Wollstonecraft would later call for explicitly in her Vindication of the Rights of Woman, were likely already present when Fuseli painted The Nightmare. If we return to the idea of the incubus as expressed in literature on witchcraft, this idea becomes even more solid: incubi were said to corrupt mortal women through sex, sometimes non-consensually, but also sometimes with the woman’s full consent.[22] As John F. Moffitt acknowledges, much literature on witchcraft focuses on “demonizing” female sexuality—rather than acknowledge that women have desires just as men do, these authors would rather attribute that desire to demonic activity. Late eighteenth-century anxieties about gender and the possibility of women’s place in society changing provided a perfect opportunity to create an image in which a woman’s sexual experience is made horrifying, essentially warning against feminine desire in the same way witch-hunters did in their literature. For a female viewer, the image might be a cautionary tale, but for a male viewer, seeing a disheveled woman on a bed with a demon might be titillating. Similar ideas are at play in many modern horror stories: one of the most iconic images from the 1984 movie A Nightmare on Elm Street is Freddy Krueger’s bladed glove emerging from the water between a teenage girl’s legs as she lies in the bathtub. The controversial 1992 video game Night Trap called upon the player to keep a bunch of girls at a sleepover safe from unknown foes, while simultaneously giving the presumably adolescent player a peek at girls in their underwear, or wrapped in a towel after a shower. Young women’s bodies, whether quote-unquote “pure” or sexually awakened, are consistently used as a canvas on which to enact a blend of sexuality and horror that acts as both a cautionary tale and a male fantasy all in one go. Our modern conceptions of the tropes of horror have Fuseli’s Nightmare as a clear predecessor.

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Having discussed much of the context and impact of The Nightmare on horror media in general, and in terms of specific literary references, I also wanted to discuss a couple of fairly recent uses of The Nightmare in media that are perhaps less aware of the image’s pedigree. The first is a 2016 horror game called Layers of Fear, in which the player walks through a house and reconstructs the story of its former occupants by picking up objects and documents, and by looking closely at their surroundings. The primary story that the player uncovers in Layers of Fear is that of a painter and his wife and child, the painter’s abuse of his family and of alcohol, and his ultimate descent into madness. Throughout the seemingly never-ending house with its ever-changing architecture, the player passes by painting after painting hanging on the walls of the house, most of which are real paintings from Western art history.[23] Among these paintings, which include works by Jan van Eyck, Rembrandt, Goya, and others, is Fuseli’s Nightmare, propped up against the wall in the artist’s studio, which is a place to which the player repeatedly returns in order to use macabre found objects to complete an original painting.[24] Many of the paintings in Layers of Fear seem to have been chosen purely based on “spooky” aesthetics, rather than an actually frightening subject. One particularly amusing moment for me as an art history nerd is the use of Jan van Eyck’s Portrait of a Man as a jump-scare—the player is walking through a room and turns around to see an oversized, distorted version of van Eyck’s portrait of a sour-faced Dutch man in a red turban right behind them. Not exactly nightmare fuel. Other apparently “scary” paintings in the game include a seventeenth-century portrait of a court dwarf, and a sixteenth-century portrait of Tognina Gonsalvus, whose family was known for having hypertrichosis, or excessive hair growth, most notably on their faces. Of all the paintings included, Fuseli’s Nightmare is probably the most appropriate for the context of the game, but all the paintings selected were chosen for their eerie or unnerving effect, proving that the shock value of The Nightmare is still there after over two centuries.

Another pop culture use of The Nightmare is in the…drama? Mystery? Soap opera? Musical? The unclassifiable hit TV show Riverdale, which is loosely based on the Archie series of comics and its many spin-offs. Season 2, episode 9 features a scene in which resident mean girl Cheryl Blossom confronts her mother in the drawing room of their mansion, which from the very beginning of the series was framed as a site of neo-Gothic horrors and secrets. Above the fireplace in that room hangs Fuseli’s Nightmare, an image that is both appropriate for the mood of the mansion and for some of the conflicts that Cheryl herself encounters, including issues surrounding her own free expression of her queer sexuality. A number of scenes in season 2 of the series take place in Cheryl’s bedroom, which features red curtains and a red velvet headboard on the bed, just like the red-draped room in Fuseli’s Nightmare. She begins to explore her feelings for another girl in that bedroom, feelings for which she is ultimately punished by being sent away to conversion therapy—her sexuality is stifled, and what takes place in her bedroom is framed as taboo. Her bedroom is also the site where a serial killer attempts to murder her, only for her to climb out the window. She is briefly trapped in that red-draped space by an evil force, but she manages to escape it. That brief entrapment echoes the larger trap of the entire mansion and her abusive family, from which she also manages to escape by the end of season 2. Just like the woman in Fuseli’s Nightmare, evil forces take turns holding her down and stifling her power and agency, but while the fainting damsel is forever suspended in that trap, Cheryl escapes her nightmare.

Clearly, Fuseli’s Nightmare still has power in terms of the horror, or at the very least, the eeriness it can evoke in viewers. The specific anxieties of the late eighteenth century may not necessarily be in play for contemporary viewers of the painting, but we can very easily see other cultural anxieties represented in the squat little demon’s harassment of the damsel. Sexual assault and women’s structurally enforced lack of power in many different spaces and situations could be one of these anxieties, as could deep-seated white anxieties about the victimhood of white women at the hands of men of color, who have been historically characterized in Western media as “beastly” or otherwise non-human. It could be seen as reflective of mainstream heterosexual anxieties about queer sexuality: many of the realities of queer sexuality are viewed as incomprehensible or even unnatural, for one thing, and queer people have often closely identified or been likened by others to monsters in fiction, such as vampires or even the Beast in Beauty and the Beast. Throughout it all, The Nightmare’s potential to shock and unnerve persists, partly as a result of its repeated use in a variety of media as a shorthand for a Gothic brand of horror that plays with ideas of sexuality. It’s a thing that cannot be killed, that keeps coming back again and again because it keeps being relevant, because someone somewhere still clutches their pearls at the sight of it. Just as Frankenstein is the mother-text of modern science fiction, we could also call The Nightmare the mother-image of modern horror, the place from whence it all began.

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Thanks so much for listening to Art History for All! You can find a transcript of this podcast with links to images and citations at You can follow us on Twitter at arthistory4all, with the number 4. You can subscribe to the podcast feed on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or RadioPublic and go ahead and rate it or tell your friends about it! Good ratings and word of mouth help us help more people engage with art history. If you really, REALLY like the podcast, please feel free to leave a tip on Ko-Fi, at

This podcast was produced and narrated by me, Allyson Healey. The theme was composed by Bruce Healey. Credits for other background and interstitial music can be found in the podcast description or at the end of the transcript. Stay tuned for the next episode at the end of November, and remember to look closely: you never know what you might see.

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[1] Franziska Lentsch, “London’s Theatres—Drury Lane and Somerset House: All the City’s A Stage,” in Fuseli: The Wild Swiss, ed. Lentsch, Kunsthaus Zürich exh. cat., 2006: 198-99.

[2] “Royal Academy Exhibition Continued.” London Courant Westminster Chronicle and Daily Advertiser. May 2, 1782. 17th-18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers. Gale Digital Collections, sourced from the British Library. Gale Document Number Z2000617259.

[3] “Royal Academy.” Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser. May 1, 1782. 17th-18th Century Burney Collection Newspapers. Gale Digital Collections, sourced from the British Library. Gale Document Number Z2000396004.

[4] Quoted in John Moffitt, “A Pictorial Counterpart to ‘Gothick’ Literature: Fuseli’s ‘The Nightmare’,” Mosaic 35, no. 1 (March 2002): 180.

[5] “The Night Mare,” in The Universal Magazine of Knowledge and Pleasure 71 (September 1782): 165. Via HathiTrust Digital Library.

[6] Quoted in Moffitt, 180.

[7] Moffitt, 181.

[8] OED, quoted in Moffitt, 181.

[9] Moffitt, 178.

[10] Moffitt, 182.

[11] Martin Myrone, “Henry Fuseli and Gothic Spectacle,” Huntington Library Quarterly 70, no. 2 (June 2007): 292.

[12] Myrone, “Henry Fuseli and Gothic Spectacle,” 296.

[13] Myrone, “Henry Fuseli and Gothic Spectacle,” 296.

[14] Mary Shelley, Chapter 23, Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus, via Project Gutenberg. Released June 17, 2008. Last updated January 13, 2018.

[15] Maryanne C. Ward, “A Painting of the Unspeakable: Henry Fuseli’s ‘The Nightmare’ and the Creation of Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein,’” The Journal of the Midwest Modern Language Association 33, no. 1 (Winter 2000): 22.

[16] Ward, 25-26.

[17] Ward, 26.

[18] Myrone, Henry Fuseli (London: Tate Publishing, 2006): 49.

[19] Ward, 23.

[20] Edgar Allan Poe, “The Fall of the House of Usher,” via Project Gutenberg. Released June 1997. Posted December 15, 2010.

[21] Wikipedia contributors, “The Nightmare,” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, 20 September 2018, accessed 25 September 2018.

[22] Moffitt, 184.

[23] “The Paintings,” Layers of Fear Wikia, last updated October 29, 2017.

[24] For one video of this among many, see Achievement Hunter, “Let’s Watch – Layers of Fear + Unboxing,” YouTube, video, 36:14, beginning at 12:37,


Additional Music Credits:

“Fog” by Sergey Cheremisinov, via Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

“Nightcrawlers” by Parvus Decree, via Licensed under a CC0 1.0 Universal License.

“Farewell the Innocent” by Ars Sonor, via Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


One Comment

  1. Great delivery. Outstanding arguments. Keep up the great effort.

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