William Etty lecture

Julian Tremayne, speaker John Green  and Rev Malcolm Smalley, acting chairman of Pocklington Probus Club.
Julian Tremayne, speaker John Green and Rev Malcolm Smalley, acting chairman of Pocklington Probus Club.

Rev Malcolm Smalley, acting chairman, conducted the usual business of Pocklington Probus Club and then Julian Tremayne reintroduced John Green, who earlier in 2017 had visited the club.

On this occasion John was able to display many illustrations relating to the life and works of artist William Etty RA.

He explained how William’s father had once been the miller at Hayton.

His early life and schooling had been in York, where his father had become an important businessman.

As a youth William Etty was well-known for his ability to sketch people at every opportunity, a trait that was to continue throughout his life.

His main interest was in historical portrait painting at which he became an acknowledged master and a member of the Royal Academy.

Most of his working life was spent in London; eventually he came to live in the centre of York and was instrumental, in company with other well-known figures of the time to ensuring that the City Walls were protected from demolition with the result that, today, they remain as a valuable historical artefact for all to see. Mr Green’s illustrations showed many details of William Etty’s portraits and how they included allegorical symbols.

The talk brought the audience right into the atmosphere of the life of an artist in the early Victorian period.

The meeting concluded with an acclaimed vote of thanks, proposed by John Taylor.