Old Masters including Portrait Miniatures from the Pohl-Ströher Collection

Old Masters including Portrait Miniatures from the Pohl-Ströher Collection

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 92. WILLIAM ETTY, R.A. | A Bacchanalian Revel.

Property from a Private Collection

WILLIAM ETTY, R.A. | A Bacchanalian Revel

Lot Closed

May 7, 02:31 PM GMT


30,000 - 40,000 GBP

Lot Details


Property from a Private Collection


York 1787 - 1849


oil on canvas

unframed: 112 x 143.5 cm.; 40 x 56½ in. 

framed: 167 x 134 cm.; 65 3/4 x 52 3/4 in.


William Etty and the Nude, a Legacy of Controversy 

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Possibly John Campbell, 2nd Marquess of Breadalbane (1796-1862), Taymouth Castle, Perthshire;

Taymouth Castle, Scotland (according to a label formerly on the reverse of the painting);

Anonymous sale, London, Christie's South Kensington, 18 November 2009, lot 22, where acquired by the present owner. 

S. Burnage, M. Hallett & L. Turner (eds), William Etty: Art & Controversy, exh. cat., York 2011, pp. 70 & 194, cat. no. 59, reproduced in colour.

Etty was strongly influenced by the Old Masters and travelled through France to Italy in the early 1820s. Having visited Paris, Rome, Naples and Florence, in November 1822 he arrived in Venice. For him the city represented the ‘cradle and birthplace of colour’ and he spent much of his time eagerly copying the works of Giorgione, Titian, Tintoretto and Veronese. This magnificent painting is thought to have been painted later in that same decade and both its rich colouring and subject matter demonstrate the impact of the Venetian masters on his work.

It is also reminiscent of the Bacchanalian revels of Poussin, of whose The Triumph of Pan Etty had made several studies,1 as well as the multifigural Bacchic compositions of Jacob Jordaens, one of which Etty owned himself and was among his most treasured possessions (he also owned a copy of Titian's The Andrians, celebrating the pleasures of wine, which he acquired in 1827).2 Such was the inspiration behind this, one of Etty’s most dynamic and sophisticated works, with thirteen revellers flirting, eating, drinking and adoring the figure of a pagan Term, cornucopias of food and wine and exotic animals.

We are grateful to Richard Green for his assistance in the cataloguing of this lot. For further discussion of Etty's relationship with the Old Masters see his essay 'Etty and the Masters' in the York exhibition catalogue (see Literature).