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Figure Studies (recto and verso)

A work made of pen and brown ink (recto and verso) on cream laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of pen and brown ink (recto and verso) on cream laid paper.


c. 1800


Henry Fuseli
Swiss, active in England, 1741-1825

About this artwork

In this double-sided study, Fuseli cleverly traced the same figure on opposite sides of the sheet, as if thinking in three dimensions. His nudes are mostly inspired by ancient sources, as in the hanging satyr with his arms raised (based on a famous Hellenistic sculpture of the flayed Marsyas), but Fuseli activates them with his dynamic line.
Drawing the human figure dominated artistic training in Fuseli’s day. While sketching from a live model was part of conventional practice, copying ancient Roman sculpture was equally important. Fuseli’s exposure to an abundance of ancient sculpture during his years in Rome (1770–78) became a visual catalogue he drew upon throughout his life.


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Prints and Drawings


Henry Fuseli


Figure Studies (recto and verso)


England (Artist's nationality)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Pen and brown ink (recto and verso) on cream laid paper


27.4 × 19 cm (10 13/16 × 7 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. James W. Alsdorf

Reference Number


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