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Henry Fuseli
The Night-Hag Visiting Lapland Witches
Oil on canvas

40 x 49 3/4 inches
Purchase, Bequest of Lillian S. Timken, by exchange, and Victor Wilbour Memorial, The Alfred N. Punnett Endowment, Marquand and Charles B. Curtis Funds, 1980

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Excerpt from Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art:

This canvas, first exhibited in 1799, was sold by the artist in 1808 to his biographer, John Knowles. It illustrates a passage from Paradise Lost (II:622–66) in which the hellhounds surrounding Sin are compared to those who "follow the night-hag when, called, / In secret, riding through the air she comes, Lured with the smell of infant blood, to dance / With Lapland witches, while the laboring moon Eclipses at their charms." "Night-hag" is an epithet of the Greek goddess Hecate, who presided over witchcraft and magical rites.


Additional Information

Henry Fuseli: Selected Biographies on Art in Context

Henry Fuseli: Selected Related Links on Art in Context

Henry Fuseli: The Nightmare, 1781, Detroit Institute of Arts on Art in Context


Henry Fuseli, Swiss, (1741–1825)
b. February 7, 1741,  Zurich
d. 1825

Art in Context - Projects:
Art in Context - Art for the Day: February 7

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