Henry Fuseli

In the poem The Task by William Cowper, a contemporary of Fuseli’s, a young woman loses her mind when her lover drowns. Crazed with pain she wanders on the beach, abandoned to her despair as much as to the elements. Fuseli was interested in the border areas of the psyche. Here it is the state between torpor and raving: Kate’s legs can scarcely be distinguished from the rocks, her gaze is mesmerized but the hair and clothing are being swept around by the storm that reflects her inner state.