William Etty: The Life and Art

English painter William Etty (1787-1849) believed women were God's most glorious work. His determination to present that glorious work in its finest light led to criticism in his day for his choice of nudes as subjects. Today, this nineteenth century painter deserves recognition for his place in the history of English art, a poor boy who struggled against all odds to live his dream as a painter, and who eventually achieved the title of academician at the Royal Academy of Arts. The life of William Etty is thoroughly explored and generously illustrated in this biography. The historical and cultural backdrop for Etty's life and works is studied throughout the book. Chapters detail his family background and childhood, his home in York, his life in London and at the Royal Academy, and his struggles to make a living. His studies in Italy and France and his career as a painter are explored in detail. His work with the York School of Design in the final decade of his life, his place in the fine arts market and his emulators are described. An appendix examines Etty's relationship with his niece Betsy, his caretaker, housekeeper and assistant.