Oil on canvas
75 x 62 cm
Provenance: Edward and John Barkes
Exhibited: The Athenaeum, York, 1866; Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century English and European Paintings, Bridget McDonnell Gallery, October 1998, No 5
Literature: ...and a copy of Titian's Noli me Tangére by Etty are the most worth notice in the ancient gallery. Among more modern painters Etty is largely represented, and to some extent, worthily. York is proud of him as a native and Yorkshire has a right to be proud of some of his pictures. refer newspaper cutting on reverse
Shortly after Etty joined the RA, four major lectures on painting were delivered by John Opie in February and March 1807. In them, Opie said that painting "brings into view the heroes, sages, and beauties of the earliest periods, the inhabitants of the most distant regions, and fixes and perpetuates the forms of the present day; it presents to us the heroic deeds, the remarkable events, and the interesting examples of piety, patriotism and humanity of all ages; and according to the nature of the action depicted, fills us with innocent pleasure, excites our abhorrence of crimes, moves us to piety, or inspires us with elevated sentiments". Opie rejected Reynolds's tradition of idealising the subjects of paintings, observing that he did not believe "that the flesh of heroes is less like flesh than that of other men". Opie advised his students to pay great attention to Titian, whose use of colour he considered unsurpassed, advising students that "colouring is the sunshine of the art, that clothes poverty in smiles [...] and doubles the charms of beauty. Opie's opinions made a deep impression on the young Etty, and he would hold these views throughout his career.