York Art Gallery has the largest holding of works by the York born artist William Etty in any UK public collection.

This work shows a new aspect of his portraiture. The majority of Etty's portraits depict friends or associates of the artist but this portrait was commissioned by an upper class patron, Charles Watkin Williams-Wynn MP, and is one of only a handful of society portraits painted by the artist. It depicts two of the patron's five daughters; the standing figure holds a ribbon and turns towards the viewer, as if she has been interrupted whilst making the final preparations to her sister's costume.

Provenance

Commissioned by Charles Watkin Williams-Wynn; thence by decent to Mrs Lewis Motley; Christie’s, 1982; private collection; through Tomasso Brothers.


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