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William Etty - British Artist From Art History

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Historical Artist - William Etty (1787 - 1849)

William Etty first apprenticed to a printmaker before taking up painting in 1806. He studied anatomy and proportion extensively for the following twelve years. In 1822, Etty traveled throughout France and Italy, copying works by Titian and Rubens. After this period, he created large paintings of nudes and historical scenes. Etty’s nude paintings were criticized by the press and deemed indecent. Despite this setback, Etty had many significant patrons and was given a solo exhibition at the Society of Arts in London in 1849. Etty painted very unequally. His work at its best possesses great charm of colour, especially in the glowing, but thoroughly realistic, flesh tints. The composition is good, but his drawing is sometimes faulty, and his work usually lacks life and originality.

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