Calvert was a friend of Etty, who was ten years older, and painted with him at the life class at the Royal Academy. This nude is probably a study made there, as an exercise to keep up his skill. It may also have been intended as something to be called on when designing more elaborate figure paintings of historical subjects.
The richly coloured oil technique of this nude contrasts strongly with Calvert's earlier work, particularly the well-known tiny prints of romantic figures in landscapes, made in 1828-30, when he was an admirer of William Blake. A group of these is on display in Room 6.
Gallery label, August 2004