WILLIAM YOUNG OTTLEY
Fall of the Damned
Lucien Goldschmidt, New York, c. 1960/65
Richard Starr (1937-1993), New York
By descent to The Reverend William Starr, Nantucket
By descent to heirs
William Young Ottley entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1787 under the tutelage of John Brown (1749-1787), whose studio contents, including 219 drawings, he purchased on Brown's death. From 1791-99 Ottley travelled to Italy, studying, drawing and purchasing works by the Old Masters, such as Parmigianino, Michelangelo and Raphael. The bulk of his collection was sold to Sir Thomas Lawrence in 1823 for £8,000. By 1833 Ottley had become one of the leading connoisseurs amongst his contemporaries, and became Keeper of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum, a job that he maintained until his death in 1836.
This important rediscovery has helped discard a popular perception of Ottley as an artist, who except in a few rare cases, is seen as merely a talented antique copyist.