Musée No:325.180Regular price £25.00
Artist: William Etty
1787–1849 was an English artist best known for his history paintings containing nude figures. He was the first significant British painter of nudes and still lifes. Born in York, he left school at the age of 12 to become an apprentice printer in Hull. Once he had completed his apprenticeship he moved to London, where in 1807 he joined the Royal Academy Schools. He studied under Thomas Lawrence. Etty earned respect for his ability to paint realistic flesh tones. Virtually all the works he exhibited at the RA in the 1820s contained at least one nude figure, and he acquired a reputation for indecency. In fact, in the first half of the 19th century his art divided public opinion more than that of any other British artist, with the possible exception of Turner. Many believed that the splendour of his richly coloured canvases was designed to disguise his underlying preoccupation with titillating forms of bodily display. Despite this, he was commercially successful and critically acclaimed, and in 1828 was elected a Royal Academician, at the time the highest honour available to an artist. An extremely shy man, Etty rarely socialised and never married. From 1824 until his death he lived with his niece Elizabeth. As his health progressively worsened he retired to York in 1848.