Etty was prolific and commercially successful throughout the 1840s, but the quality of his work deteriorated throughout this period. As his health progressively worsened he retired to York in 1848. He died in 1849, shortly after a major retrospective exhibition. In the immediate aftermath of his death his works became highly collectable and sold for large sums. Changing tastes meant his work later fell out of fashion, and imitators soon abandoned his style. By the end of the 19th century the value of all of his works had fallen below their original prices, and outside his native York he remained little known throughout the 20th century.