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Woman Sitting, Curled up

Henry Fuseli1778

SMK - Statens Museum for Kunst

SMK - Statens Museum for Kunst

Füssli’s drawing has no specific meaning or content, shows no specific scene. No particular story is being related here, nor does the scene refer to a character known from literature. The female figure in the drawing primarily refers to itself, the forms determining the picture’s content.

The drawing's figure

The figure’s curling position, closed in upon itself; the curve of the neck; the sharp, angular abstraction of the face; the hair flowing chaotically across the pillow; the limply dangling hand; the sharply pointed foot - all this is combined to form an impression of restlessness and tension, creating an image of a woman who appears to be in a traumatic state.

Michelangelo as role model

The picture points back to Michelangelo (1475-1564), Füssli’s great role model. When the stories are peeled away, only the nameless figure is left, says the art historian Julius Lange (1838-1896) about the essence of Michelangelo’s figures. The figures become real, come into their own through their physical, bodily expressions.

Like so many of Füssli’s works, the drawing’s abstract, formal statement about human existence can also be viewed as forestalling modernism and its permanent awareness of crisis.

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  • Title: Woman Sitting, Curled up
  • Creator: Johann Heinrich Füssli
  • Date Created: 1778
  • Værktekst: Füsslis tegning har ikke et konkret indhold. Det er ikke en bestemt historie, der fortælles, endsige en reference til en fra litteraturen kendt figur. Tegningens kvindefigur henviser primært til sig selv i en iscenesættelse, hvor formen er bærer af indholdet. Tegningens skikkelse Skikkelsens sammenkrøbne stilling, der er lukket om sig selv, den svungne hals, ansigtets skarpe, vinkelformede abstraktion, håret, der flyder kaotisk ud over puden, den slapt nedhængende hånd og sylespidse fod - alt sammen danner det gennem formens nervøse udtryk et billede af en kvinde, der synes at befinde sig i en traumatisk tilstand. Michelangelo som forbillede Billedet peger tilbage til Michelangelo (1475-1564), Füsslis store forbillede. Når historierne er skrællet bort, står den navnløse figur tilbage, siger kunsthistorikeren Julius Lange (1838-1896) om essensen af Michelangelos figurstil. Det er gennem det kropslige udtryk, figuren træder i eksistens. Som så mange af Füsslis værker kan tegningens abstrakte, formelle udsagn om menneskelig eksistens også ses som en foregribelse af modernismens permanente krisebevidsthed.
  • Teknik: Pen, brunt blæk, pensel, brun og grå lavering over blyant
  • Proveniens: Erhvervet 1992
  • Provenance: Acquired 1992
  • Physical Dimensions: w26.4 x h21.1 cm (Without frame)
  • Dansk link: http://www.smk.dk/index.php?id=1301
  • Dansk Titel: Siddende, sammenkrøbet kvinde
  • Type: Drawing
  • Rights: Statens Museum for Kunst, http://www.smk.dk/en/copyright/creative-commons/
  • Medium: Pencil, pen, brown ink and grey wash

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