Not that long ago, I purchased a drawing. It is a portrait ofb a young lady done with black and red chalk and a touch of body colour white. The portrait itself is not signed but on the backing paper there appears the name #WilliamEtty.
Etty (1787-1849) was the first significant British painter of nudes which he used in his historical paintings. Etty was born in York but left school early to apprentice as a printer. After his apprenticeship, he enrolled in the Royal Academy to study under Thomas Lawrence. His talent for painting realistic skin tones brought him commercial and critical claim.
When one looks at this portrait, the artist’s talent is immediately recognised. Using only three colours, he manages to portray an intimacy with his sitter and catches her character as she glances to the side. The touches of white body colour are perfectly placed. Especially the one on her eye. It draws you in to look at it and the beauty of the eyes. Who is this young lady. I do not know but she comes from the time of Jane Austen. Does she appear in one of his paintings. Again, I do not know. She is just lovely to look upon.