Satan Starts from the Touch of Ithuriel's Spear

(Swiss, 1741–1825)
Support: Cream(2) laid paper, laid down on cream(2) modern? laid paper
Sheet: 30.9 x 42.5 cm (12 3/16 x 16 3/4 in.); Secondary Support: 31 x 42.7 cm (12 3/16 x 16 13/16 in.)
Catalogue raisonné: Schiff 483a
Location: not on view
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Did You Know?

This drawing is one of three almost identical drawings depicting the same scene from Paradise Lost; the other sheets are in the collections of the National Gallery, Stockholm, and the British Museum, London.


Henry Fuseli's lifelong interest in the work of the English poet John Milton (1608-1674) inspired many drawings that interpreted passages from Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost (1667). This early example illustrates the moment when the angels Ithuriel and Zephon discover Satan disguised as a toad in the bower where Adam and Eve are sleeping. Ithuriel forces Satan to reveal himself by prodding him with a spear. The lion in the background alludes to an earlier passage in the poem, when Satan takes on the shape of the beast in order to spy on the couple.
Satan Starts from the Touch of Ithuriel's Spear

Satan Starts from the Touch of Ithuriel's Spear


Henry Fuseli

(Swiss, 1741–1825)
England, 18th century

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