I found myself inspired today by a number of paintings by English painter William Etty (1787-1849) and an article about his life and work “William Etty: The Most Controversial Artist You’ve Never Heard of” by Bob Duggan on the Picture This website. Duggan writes “Etty broke the rules of decorum by painting humanly realistic nudes rather than idealized gods and goddesses. Most of the criticism questioned the appropriateness of Etty’s female nudes, while the male nudes quite often found praise as “heroic.”
“Heroic” his paintings are, especially the male nudes whose straining but naturalistic muscles are lovingly rendered and formed.
“I never meant to seduce,” Duggan reports Etty as having said, but seduce Etty does, by presenting to the eye the most beautiful sensations which cannot help but engage and inspire.