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Sketch for "Oath on the Rütli," Female Figure (verso)

A work made of oil on canvas.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.


1779/81; 1785/90 (verso)


Henry Fuseli
Swiss, active in England, 1741-1825

About this artwork

Although Henry Fuseli spent most of his career in England, he was born Johann Heinrich Füssli in Zurich, Switzerland. This is a preliminary study for the artist’s first important commission, The Oath on the Rütli, in Zurich’s city hall. Both the study and the final painting depict the oath sworn on the Rütli meadow in 1291 by representatives of three Swiss cantons (territories) against the ambitions of their Habsburg overlords. This sketch, with its limited palette and loose, expressive brushstrokes, shows the artist thinking through questions of tone and mood.


On View, Gallery 219


Painting and Sculpture of Europe


Henry Fuseli


Sketch for "Oath on the Rütli," Female Figure (verso)


United Kingdom (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.



Oil on canvas


Stretcher: 76 × 67.5 cm (29 15/16 × 26 9/16 in.); Irregular edges of the original canvas: 72.7 × 57.8 cm (28 5/8 × 22 3/4 in.); Tli image: 65.1 × 54.3 cm (25 5/8 × 21 3/8 in.)

Credit Line

Anonymous gift

Reference Number


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