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    Description

    Britomart Redeems Faire Amoret: WILLIAM ETTY, R.A. (British 1787-1849) (Britomart Redeems Faire Amoret)
    Britomart Redeems Faire Amoret, c. 1833
    Oil on canvas
    35.5in. x 25.5in.
    Provenance: Forbes, Old Battersea House; [Sotheby's Forbes Magazine Collection, June 9, 1994 lot 178]; Maas Gallery; private collection, Middlesex, England
    Exhibited: Manchester, Royal Institution, Modern Artists, 1833

    William Etty appears to have made two versions of the present subject derived from Edmund Spencer's The Faerie Queene. The other version, which is a similar composition and an almost exact size to the present work, was formerly in the Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight until the 1950s and was acquired by the Tate Gallery, London in 1958 (see Dennis Farr, William Etty, 1958 cat. no 44, pl. 46.) One of the two versions was exhibited at the Royal Academy, London in 1833, no. 7.

    The present work depicts a scene from Book III, Canto XII, verses XXX- XXXIV of The Faire Queene. The heroine Britomart, intended as a type of Queen Elizabeth, represents the virtues of valour and chastity. She enters a chamber in which an evil sorcerer holds Amoret captive: "that same woefull Lady, both whose hands/ Where bounden fast, that did her ill become,/ And her small waste girt rownd with yron bands/ Upon brazen pillour, by the which she stands. The 'vile Enchanteur sate,/ Figuring strange characters of his art:/ With living blood', a spell with which he sought to cause Amoret to fall in love with him. Soone as that virgin knight he saw in place/ His wicked bookes in hast he overthrew and fiercely running to that Lady trew,/ A murderous knife out of his pocket drew. Britomart and the sorcerer fought, but at the moment when her tormentor was about to be killed, the Lady which by him stood bound,/ Dernly into her called to abstaine/ From doing him to dy. For else her paine/ Should be remedilesse; sith none but hee/ Which wrought it could the same recure againe./ Therewith she stayd her hand, loth stayd to bee/ For life she him envyde, and long'd revenge to see."

    Etty's paintings can be found in important public collections, including the J. Paul Getty Museum, Manchester City Art Gallery, National Museum Liverpool, and the Tate Gallery, London.


    Condition Report*: Condition report available upon request.
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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2004
    30th-31st Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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