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Fuseli’s ‘The Three Witches’ Comes to the Huntington

originally posted on: Los Angeles Times by Jessica Gelt
October 7, 2014

After residing in private hands for more than 230 years, “The Three Witches” by the notoriously eccentric Anglo-Swiss painter Henry Fuseli has been acquired by the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

The unusual work, a stark depiction of the spooky trio that predict Macbeth’s fate in Act 1, Scene 3, of Shakespeare’s tragedy, will go on view to the public for the first time Saturday.

The Huntington is known for its collection of 18th century British paintings, but it did not yet have any from Fuseli, who achieved substantial fame during his lifetime.

Two other versions of “The Three Witches” are housed at the Kunsthaus Zurich, an art museum in Switzerland, and at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. The Huntington’s painting appears to be a study made before those full-size, final versions.

The Huntington is particularly excited about the acquisition because it dovetails with the museum’s collections of work by the painter Sir Joshua Reynolds and the poet Willam Blake, both of whom were close to, and influenced by, Fuseli.

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