William Etty Biography | Oil Painting Reproductions

3-10-1787 York, ENG - 11-13-1849 York, ENG

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Etty, William

William Etty started his training by copying without instruction from nature, models, prints. In the summer of 1807, he was admitted to be a private student of Sir Thomas Lawrence, who was at the very zenith of his fame.

In 1811, after repeated rejections, he had the satisfaction of seeing his Telemachus Rescuing Antiope hanging on the walls of the Academy but, it was hung in a bad position, and attracted little notice. For the next five years, William Etty persevered with quiet and constant energy in overcoming the disadvantages of his early training with yearly growing success. In 1816 he resolved to improve his knowledge of art by taking a trip to Italy.

Struggles and vexations still continued to harass him, but he bore up against them with patient perseverance and force of will finally in 1820 his oil painting The Coral Finder Venus and her Youthful Satellites, exhibited at the Royal Academy, attracted much attention.

In 1822 he again went to tour Italy, stopping in Paris on his way to reproduce some paintings from the old masters in the gallery at the Louvre, the astonishing his fellow-students by the speed and fidelity with which he copied.

Early in 1824, he returned home to find that honors long withheld were awaiting him. In that year he was made an associate of the Royal Academy, and in 1828 he was elevated to an Academician. William Etty’s career was from this time on one of slow but uninterrupted success.

During the next ten years of his life, the enthusiasm and unabated diligence of his studies were not in the slightest degree lessened. He was a constant attendant at the Academy Life School, where he used to work along with the students, and some of his fellow-Academicians thought this practice undignified and beneath them.

In 1840, and again in 1841, William Etty undertook a journey to the Netherlands, to look for and inspect for himself the perfect works of art of Rubens in the places of worship and public galleries. Two years later he once more visited France with a view to gathering materials for his last epic endeavor, his famous oil painting of Joan of Arc. In 1848, after finishing this painting, he decided to retire to York. One last wish remained for him now to gratify, his desire to see an exhibition of his paintings at the Academy, but he died the following year, seeing his wish fulfilled.

Art Movement: Academic.
Artists Influencing William Etty: Thomas Lawrence.
He Traveled To Italy, France, Scotland, Netherlands.
Artist's Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist, with text adapted from 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.

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