Musidora - Sold

attributed to William Etty R.A. (1787-1849) - Sold

Musidora - Sold

Etty's most successful single nude figure in his later years was Musidoraexhibited in 1843 at the Royal Academy. There are at least four versions of this composition by William Etty.  The subject comes from James Thomson's The Seasons; Summer in which is described how Musidora is surprised by Damon while bathing in a stream.  It is possible that Etty knew of Gainsborough's painting of the same subject when Robert Vernon owned it.  It had, for some, the drawback that it depicted a naked girl being spied upon, though the figure of Damon is not shown, but since every picture of a nude necessarily suggested a spectator who was usually the viewer himself, this did not reduce it's general appeal.  The principal version was bought by George Knott for 70 guineas and sold two years later for 225 guineas and again in 1853 for 345 guineas, further evidence that Etty was consistently underpaid for this work.  The painting is also known by an alternative title, "The Bather: 'At the Doubtful Breeze Alarmed.'"  This comes from the lines from Thomson's poem that inspired the painting.

Price: Sold for £2,752.00 in a no reserve eBay sale on 28th December 2014

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