The Genius of British Art TV - York Art Gallery online -
William Etty started painting nudes like these in the 1820s after a visit to Italy. Howard Jacobson, The Genius of British Art: Flesh, Channel 4 2010
William Etty is York’s most distinguished artistic son, and he gave many of his works to the city. ibid.
Inspired by artists like Rubens and Titian, he was best known for his nudes and history paintings, but he also painted many landscapes and portraits.
He was financially successful in his own lifetime, despite being criticised in the press for indecency, and was made an associate of the Royal Academy of Arts in London in 1824, defeating Constable by 18 votes to five. In 1828 he became a full academician.
Known as a shy bachelor, he moved back to York from London in 1848 after his retirement and died the following year in 1849. York Art Gallery online