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Fuseli made this portrait of himself as
a sculpted faun when he was in Italy during the 1770s. By this time Fuseli already had a reputation for studied eccentricity. As a friend in Rome noted:

 

He is everything in extremes - always
an original; His look is lightning, his
word a thunderstorm; his jest is death,
his revenge, hell. He cannot draw a
single mean breath. He never draws portraits, his features are all true,
yet at the same time caricature...

August 2004