Research Seminar - ‘A Monster of Beautiful Loathsomeness’: William Etty’s Sirens and Ulysses (2019)
Bowland Auditorium, University of York, 4 February 2019
The Department of History of Art was delighted to welcome back alumna Dr Beatrice Bertram (Senior Curator, York Art Gallery) on Monday 4 February 2019, when she gave a research seminar on ‘“A Monster of Beautiful Loathsomeness”: William Etty’s Sirens and Ulysses’. Dr Bertram gave fascinating, and at times amusing, insight into the painting and its creation and reception. The research seminar was chaired by PhD student Mariam Hale.
Etty considered Sirens and Ulysses to be among his most important works but it caused controversy, as so many of his paintings, when it was first exhibited in 1837, because of the nudity and the realism of the decaying corpses in the foreground. The large oil painting, measuring 297 x 442.5 cm, underwent major conservation at Manchester Art Gallery from 2002 to 2006, when it went back on display for the first time since the late 1880s.
Main image: William Etty, Three Female Nudes, Sketch for an Unknown Work (detail), c. 1820-1830, oil on wood https://www.yorkmuseumstrust.org.uk/collections/search/item/?id=20000238. Image courtesy of York Museums Trust :: https://yorkmuseumstrust.org.uk :: Public Domain