Ask Morgana 138: William Etty

William Etty (1787-1849) was an early 19c painter. A Yorkshireman, he studied at the Royal Academy School and copied ‘Old Masters’ in the National Gallery. He travelled extensively in Europe, and became influenced by the Venetian Masters, particularly in his use of colour. I am including him here because he specialised in the female nude, depicting women tastefully draped and in classical or allegorical mode, at a time when nudes had an overt and a covert purpose. Or maybe rather a conscious and an unconscious one. I find his style inconsistent, though maybe that comes from my shuffling a group of his paintings around irrespective of their date, and not seeing the development of his style. He is an interesting and noteworthy artists nonetheless. I do like the expression he has caught on his subject’s face in the first example below.

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Images reproduced under ‘fair use’ provisions.

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