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William Etty was English painter, one of the few British artists to specialize almost exclusively in the nude. He spent most of his career in London. Etty's paintings are often of mythological or historical subjects, sometimes on an ambitious size, but he also made life studies throughout his career, and these are now probably his most admired works. He was often attacked for the alleged indecency of his work, The Times considering it ‘entirely too luscious for the public eye’. However, by the time of his death he was wealthy and respected. He summed up his attitude to his favourite subject thus: ‘Finding God's most glorious work to be Woman, that all human beauty had been concentrated in her, I dedicated myself to painting—not the Draper's or Milliner's work—but God's most glorious work, more finely than ever had been done.’ His draughtsmanship is often criticized, but it is generally agreed that he attained a glowing voluptuousness in the painting of flesh that few British artists have ever approached.
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