This article examines the significance of nature for two male societies in Zurich during the eighteenth century. By focussing on Salomon Gessner and Johann Caspar Fuessli, the father of Anglo-Swiss artist Henry Fuseli, it explores the synthesis of classicist and romanticist forms of nature in their works. I show how their onstructions of nature help shape early forms of Swiss national identity as part of the campaign of resistance against Napoleonic invasion. By doing so, I demonstrate how nature as sign in both text and image shifts from a male pursuit formed out of opposition to authority, to nature as signifier of Swiss resistance at national level. This resistance is epitomised by the Alpine figure Wilhelm Tell.
- Henry Fuseli
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Visual Arts and Performing Arts