Sir Joshua


"Could we teach taste or genius by rules, they would be no longer taste and genius."


Reynolds, Sir Joshua  (1723-1792) was an English painter, the foremost portraitist of his day. Influenced by Michelangelo and Rubens, his portraits were distinguished by calm dignity, classical allusions, rich color, and realistic portrayal of character. He came to be the first English painter to achieve social recognition for his artistic achievements.

He was born near Plympton, Devonshire, the son of a clergyman.

Reynolds learned portraiture from a painter in London. In 1749, he sailed to the Mediterranean. After three years traveling in Italy he returned to London, where he soon attracted notice by his portraits of prominent persons. 

In 1764 Reynolds founded the Literary Club. In 1768 the Royal Academy of Arts was established, and Reynolds was elected its first president. The following year he was knighted.

In 1784 he succeeded Allan Ramsay as painter to George III. Unfortunately, five years later his sight began to deteriorate and Reynolds was forced to give up painting. He died in London, in 1792.


"Portrait of Admiral Augustus Keppel" (1779) Oil on canvas, 123.2 x 100.3 cm - 48.5 × 39.5 in. National Portrait Gallery, London, UK."



"Colonel George K. H. Coussmaker, Grenadier Guards" (1782) Oil on canvas, 238.1 x 145.4 cm - 93.7 x 57.2 in. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA.



"Francis Rawdon Hastings" (circa 1789) Oil on canvas, 147.9 x 240 cm- 4' 10.23" x 7' 10.49". Royal Collection, Windsor Castle, London, UK.



"Portrait of Miss Hickey" Oil on canvas, 73.5 x 60.5 cm - 28.94 x 23.82 in. Private collection.



"Portrait of Charles Hamilton, 8th Early of Haddington" Oil on canvas, 56 x 71 cm - 22.05 x 27.95 in. Private collection.



"Portrait Of Lord John Townshend" Oil on canvas, 62.5 x 75 cm - 24.61 x 29.53 in. Private collection.



"Portrait Of John Simpson, Of Bradley Hall, Northumberland" Oil on canvas, 102 x 127 cm - 3' 4.16" x 4' 2". Private collection.



"Self­portrait" (between 1747 and 1749) Oil on canvas. Private collection.



"Portrait of Admiral Thomas Cotes" (1780) Oil on canvas, 73.5 x 61 cm - 29 x 24 in. Private Collection.



"Portrait Of Charles Turner, Sir William Lowther, Joseph Leeson And Monsieur Huet" Oil on canvas, 49.5 x 59.5 cm - 19.49 x 23.43 in. Private collection.

Text source: unkown.

Related Artists:

Related Terms: Realism, Classicism.

Sir Joshua Reynolds Statue in court of Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK.

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