Oil on canvas, 24ins x 20ins
William Etty was a painter of portraits,classical and historical scenes and nudes. Born in York he entered the RA schools 1807, where he worked under Lawrence.
He first exhibited at the RA in 1811, became an ARA in 1824 and a full RA in 1828. He exhibited at the RA a total of 138 works. He was admired for his classical scenes but the Victorian public were , in public, scandalised by his wonderful nudes. He visited Italy between 1821-23 where he studied the old masters, who greatly influenced his work, As a painter in oils Etty was sensational, his colours, shapes and composition were always perfect. His studies of bathing nudes are now drawing much acclaim with their translucent skin colours and form.
This portrait is of Mendoo, dressed in a moorish costume. Mendoo modelled in several of Etty's painting. Here he is depicted as a slave , having just been captured and about to start life as a slave. There is an overwhelming sense of sadness in the portrait,especially in the eyes of the sitter.
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