Johann Henry Fuseli’s The Nightmare
When I was 5, i think I was 5, we had this book. It was about all the scary things a 5 year old would be afraid of; hobgoblins, spirits, monsters, ghouls, etc. I remember it had a purple and black wave pattern on the cover and it had this distinct smell. I can remember the smell, I couldn’t tell you what it is, but if I ever encountered that smell again that book will come to mind.
The book had etchings in it. I remember the one story about the incubus (not really a story for a 5 year old, but when you’re 5 all the stuff you know as an adult you don’t know about nor care), and the etching they had for the story was the one up above, The Nightmare by John Henry Fuseli. That image has stuck with me since then. I don’t particularly know what exactly about it was so intriguing to a 5 year old me but it was embedded forever. I do believe it greatly influenced my affinity for baroque era and lighting as well as nightmarish, dark nuance in most of my editorial work. I can safely say this image represents the beginning of something I would only later understand.
( I also have to credit the Caravaggio that was always in our dining room since I could remember)