Matthew William Peters, English, 1742-1814
Title: Sylvia, a Courtesan
Date: c.1778
Medium: Oil on panel
63 x 76 cm
Credit Line: Purchased, 1972
Object Number: NGI.4049
Exhibition History(?) Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1777

Aspects of Irish Art, a Loan Exhibition; Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts, Columbus, Ohio, 27 January - 3 March 1974; Toledo Museum of Arts, Toledo, Ohio, 17 March - 14 April 1974; St Louis Art Museum, St Louis, Missouri, 3 May - 9 June 1974
Label TextIt is said that Peters became known as the 'English Titian' on account of his series of paintings of reclining women, inspired by the Venus d'Urbino. This example is typical of mildly erotic works known as 'fancy pictures', which Peters produced between 1776 and 1779 on his return from the Continent. They also suggest the influence of the French painter Jean-Baptiste Greuze. All were made available in print form and proved very popular. Peters later regretted painting them, however, and in 1782 was ordained an Anglican priest.

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