detroit institute of arts

Henry Fuseli (1741-1825)
“The Nightmare” (1781)
Oil on canvas
Located in the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, Michigan, United States

“The Nightmare” likely influenced Mary Shelley in a scene from her novel “Frankenstein.” The iconic imagery associated with the Monster’s murder of the protagonist Victor’s wife seems to draw from the canvas: “She was there, lifeless and inanimate, thrown across the bed, her head hanging down, and her pale and distorted features half covered by hair.”