The Destroying Angel and Daemons of Evil Interrupting the Orgies of the Vicious and Intemperate
The Destroying Angel and Daemons of Evil Interrupting the Orgies of the Vicious and Intemperate, also known as The Destroying Angel and Daemons Inflicting Divine Vengeance on the Wicked and Intemperate and as The Destruction of the Temple of Vice, is an
When first exhibited in 1832, The Destroying Angel was widely praised for its technical brilliance, but critics were divided on the subject matter. Some praised its vivid blend of fear and beauty; others criticised its theme as inappropriate, and chastised Etty for wasting his talent. As Etty had hoped, the painting changed critics' perception of him; some saw it as indicating previously unseen depths, others considered it a renunciation of his previous work. Henry Payne, who had commissioned the painting, sold it in 1854 to
Between 1820 and 1829 Etty exhibited 15 paintings, of which 14 depicted nudes. While some nude paintings by foreign artists existed in private collections, England had no tradition of nude painting and the display and distribution of nude material to the public had been suppressed since the 1787
Needled by repeated attacks from The Morning Chronicle on his supposed indecency, poor taste and lack of creativity, Etty determined to produce a work that would prove his detractors wrong. The result was The Destroying Angel and Daemons of Evil Interrupting the Orgies of the Vicious and Intemperate.
The Destroying Angel was commissioned by Henry Payne of Leicester in 1822, on a promise of 60