View full screen - View 1 of Lot 59. Paris holding the golden apple.
59

William Etty, R.A.

Paris holding the golden apple

Estimate:

8,000

to
- 12,000 GBP

William Etty, R.A.

William Etty, R.A.

Paris holding the golden apple

Paris holding the golden apple

Estimate:

8,000

to
- 12,000 GBP

Lot sold:

10,080

GBP

William Etty, R.A.

York 1787 - 1849

Paris holding the golden apple


inscribed on the reverse: STUDY FOR / "YOUTH AT THE PROW" / Etty

oil on canvas, unlined

unframed: 60.8 x 48.1 cm.; 24 x 18 7/8 in.

framed: 75.5 x 63 cm.; 29 7/8 x 24 7/8 in.

The canvas is unlined, the paint surface is relatively clean, and the varnish is slightly discoloured, uneven and shiny. Inspection under ultraviolet light is impeded by the opaque and uneven varnish, but reveals some small, cosmetic retouchings in the background, and a couple of minor strengthenings around Paris' silhouette, between his legs, at the back of his helmet, and in his fingers holding the staff. The painting is in overall good 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. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color 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. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

This painting almost certainly originated as a life-room study of a nude male model, to which William Etty added an imaginary landscape setting and several significant details to create a readily saleable picture with a specific subject - Paris, the Trojan prince from Greek mythology. He is identified by the Phrygian cap, the apple in his left hand and the crook clasped by his right hand, all probably additions to what was painted in the life-room. 


A ‘Study of Paris’ was included in Etty’s retrospective exhibition at the Society of Arts, London, in 1849 (no. 37) but this was a ‘Head’ according to the artist's biographer Alexander Gilchrist, who dated it to 1842.However, the present canvas can be associated with The Choice of Paris, which the artist showed at the Royal Academy in 1826 (no. 24) - this large, ambitious painting had been commissioned by the 4th Earl Darnley and is now in the Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight.In the Port Sunlight painting, the Phrygian cap is yellow or gold, not red as in the present work. However, a red Phrygian cap is worn by the prominent male figure in Youth on the Prow and Pleasure at the Helm, which Etty exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1832 (no. 196) and which is today in the Tate collection.There is thus also a probable link between the present work and the Tate painting, as suggested by the inscriptions on the reverse of the former, even if it is not a clear and obvious relationship between ‘study' and finished picture.


We are grateful to Dr. Richard Green for endorsing the attribution to Etty on the basis of digital images, and for dating the painting to between 1826 and 1832.


A. Gilchrist, Life of William Etty, R.A., London 1855, vol. 2, p. 339.

2 https://artuk.org/discover/artworks/the-judgement-of-paris-102502/search/actor:etty-william-17871849/page/15

https://www.artuk.org/discover/artworks/youth-on-the-prow-and-pleasure-at-the-helm-198665/search/actor:etty-william-17871849/page/9