About this artwork
Count Ugolino della Gherardesca was a medieval Italian nobleman of Pisa accused of treason and locked in a tower with his sons and grandsons to starve to death. He was made famous as one of the damned souls in Dante’s poem the Inferno. Dante leaves unclear the ghoulish question of whether or not Ugolino ate his offspring’s corpses, which would have appealed to Fuseli’s dark imagination.
In a drawing of exquisite refinement and sensitivity, Fuseli uses his media (pen, wash, and graphite) to great effect, capturing the despair bordering on madness expressed by Ugolino’s stoic figure and demeanor.
- Currently Off View
- Prints and Drawings
- Henry Fuseli
- Ugolino and His Sons Starving to Death in the Tower
- Pen and black ink and brush and black, gray, and red wash, over traces of graphite, on grayish-ivory laid paper
- 639 × 522 mm
- The Leonora Hall Gurley Memorial Collection