Europe, United Kingdom, England
66.0 x 56.0 x 12.0 cm
Self Portrait 1825
William Etty 1787-1849
Oil on paper on canvas
Painted at the request of his mother,
this self portrait shows Etty aged about 38.
It flatters the sitter by ignoring his smallpox scars
and darkening his red hair.
In the typically sensitive spirit of the Romantic age,
the artist portrays himself as remote and thoughtful.
This perhaps suggests an air of the dejection he felt
upon repeated negative criticism of his nude subjects.
The son of a baker, Etty studied under Thomas Lawrence,
and his sensuous history subjects achieved great success.
Through his study of Venetian old masters such as Titian
he enlivened British art with a brighter palette.
Gift of Sir Joseph Whitworth 1882.147