Gothic Nightmares: Fuseli, Blake and the Romantic Imagination

The 1770s was marked by the emergence of themes of violence, horror and the supernatural in art: the birth of the Gothic. In 1782, the unveiling of Henry Fuseli's painting The Nightmare was met with a mixture of shock and fascination. The cosmic visions of William Blake, the vast, neo-classical history paintings of James Barry and the searing, grotesque caricatures of James Gilray all emerged during a time of political and social upheaval, matched by similarly extreme developments in the literature of the period. While there have been several critical reassessments of Gothic literature in recent years, Gothic Nightmares, which accompanies a groundbreaking exhibition at Tate Britain, will be the first serious consideration of these themes in visual art.Six sections explore individual themes: the Gothic nightmare, examining Fuseli's famous painting in context; the Sublime vision of the Gothic hero, tortured and imprisoned;

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