Collection Online
Study for The Deluge
oil on canvas
48.5 × 63.3 cm
Accession Number
International Painting
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Bequest of Howard Spensley, 1939
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of Digitisation Champion Ms Carol Grigor through Metal Manufactures Limited
Gallery location
19th Century European Paintings Gallery
Level 2, NGV International
Subjects (general)
Human Figures Religion and Mythology
Subjects (specific)
cloth floods (natural events) nudes (representations) reclining studies (visual works) women (female humans)

With R. E. A (Ted) Wilson (dealer), London, 1933; from whom purchased by Howard Spensley (c. 1870–1938), London, 1933; collection of Howard Spensley, London and Bedfordshire, England, until 1938; by whom bequeathed to NGV, 1939.

As the first English painter to specialize in the female nude, William Etty was a controversial figure in Dickensian London. Despite Etty’s frequent protests that ‘There’s nothing indecent in my pictures, only in the vile notions people may bring with them, for which they are to be pitied’, these avowals did not prevent decorous censorship of his paintings. Shortly before the National Gallery of Victoria acquired this painting, overpainted draperies were removed by a London dealer from its delightfully languid nude forms.


This frame takes the form of a French Rococo double frame. These frames are characterised by swept edges on the face and back of the frame. They are built on a wooden profile that has a scotia on both sides. This form is recut to create the curved shapes of the swept edges which are then embellished with composition ornament. They are distinguished by the absence of a rectangular back edge and the sense the frame is layered, with a swept patterned surface sitting above another similarly shaped frame.

Other frames in this form are found on William Etty, Dorothea and William Nicholson  La belle chauffeuse (2047-3). 

Unknown - 19th century

timber, composition, gold leaf


overpainted with gold paint