Known in his adopted Britain as Fuseli, he was born Füssli. Lavater was his schoolfriend: at 21 they caused a furore by denouncing a corrupt magistrate. Fuseli admired Rousseau, met him, but eventually broke with his ideas. Reynolds encouraged Fuseli to dedicate himself to painting (he’d been working as a translator). He befriended Abildgaard in Rome. Etty, Constable, Haydon and Landseer were among his students. Cowper, Blake, Darwin and Wollstonecraft were members of the dissident group around Johnson (Fuseli’s ‘Nightmare’ had verses of Darwin’s attached). His wife scotched his scheme to go and observe the French Revolution with his admirer Wollstonecraft.