View full screen - View 1 of Lot 97. WILLIAM ETTY, R.A. | Sleeping female nude.
97

WILLIAM ETTY, R.A. | Sleeping female nude

Estimate:

8,000 - 12,000 GBP

Property from a Private Collection

WILLIAM ETTY, R.A. | Sleeping female nude

WILLIAM ETTY, R.A. | Sleeping female nude

Estimate:

8,000 - 12,000 GBP

Lot sold:

10,000

GBP

Property from a Private Collection

WILLIAM ETTY, R.A.

York 1787 - 1849

SLEEPING FEMALE NUDE


signed lower right: W.Etty

oil on canvas

unframed: 36.8 x 80 cm.; 14½ x 31½ in.

framed: 72.5 x 81 cm.; 28 1/2 x 31 7/8 in.


ARTICLE:

William Etty and the Nude, a Legacy of Controversy 


Please note, Condition 11 of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is not applicable to this lot. 


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The old relining is strong and stable. The painted surface is well preserved under a thick layer of varnish. Ultra-violet light reveals scattered retouchings in the female torso, including in her lower leg, and a repair, perhaps to a loss, immediately to the right of her right hand on which her head rests. Ready to hang in its elaborate carved and giltwood frame, which is in excellent condition.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.  

NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE INCLUDED IN THE CATALOGUE.

Anonymous sale, London, Christie's South Kensington, 8 June 2000, lot 248, where acquired.

Another version, in an elongated format, of the painting illustrated on the cover of Leonard Robinson's biography of William Etty (in a private collection).1 More complete in composition, and with the addition of still life elements in the left foreground, this picture would appear to have been worked up from the latter painting, which is unfinished in the background elements and has the sketchy handling of a life-room study. 


The model has been posed in emulation of The Sleeping Hermaphroditus, or Borghese Hermaphroditus, a famous marble sculpture from ancient Rome replicating a lost Hellenistic bronze (Musée du Louvre, Paris).2 Interestingly, in the present version, Etty has flattened the pose of the figure to accord more closely with the famous sculpture, in comparison to the slightly elevated back of the original life model.


Signed works by William Etty are extremely rare, and this sensual sleeping nude is one of very few examples. We are grateful to Richard Green for his assistance in the cataloguing of this lot. 


1 L. Robinson, William Etty: The Life and Art, Jefferson and London 2011; see https://www.amazon.co.uk/William-Etty-Life-Leonard-Robinson/dp/0786425318

2 https://www.louvre.fr/en/oeuvre-notices/sleeping-hermaphroditos