Heinrich Fuseli (1741 - 1825) was a Swiss painter of the Romantic era who specialized in supernatural subject matter. Fuseli immigrated to Britain, where he would enjoy a professional relationship with the Royal Academy, which ultimately appointed him professor of painting, and later Keeper. His stylized and intense works, which include paintings on William Shakespeare and John Milton, would influence later artists such as William Blake.
This shirt depicts Fuseli's "Silence" (1799 - 1801). An androgynous person sits cross-legged and leaning forward, curling the human form as much as possible into a ball. This ageless, faceless figure sits in a vague black void. The title suggests an emotional component. Movement is inwards and downwards, the figure fluid. Beyond this, it is up to the viewer to identify a specific meaning, which reveals as much about the audience as it does about the artist.
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