Sir Joshua Reynolds – English 1723-1792

Sir Joshua Reynolds
Self Portrait, 1768
Sir Joshua Reynolds was an English painter in the Grand Manner, who was the foremost portraitist of his day.

Reynolds was born in Plympton, Devonshire, on July 16, 1723, the son of a cleric. He learned portraiture from a painter in London and in 1749 sailed to the Mediterranean with Commodore Augustus Keppel. After three years traveling in Italy he returned to London, where he soon attracted notice by his portraits of prominent persons. He came to be the first English painter to achieve social recognition for his artistic achievements.

In 1764 Reynolds founded the Literary Club, which included essayist and critic Samuel Johnson, actor David Garrick, statesman Edmund Burke, writer Oliver Goldsmith, writer James Boswell, and dramatist Richard Brinsley Sheridan. When the Royal Academy of Arts was instituted in 1768, Reynolds was elected president and was knighted. In 1769 he delivered the first of his annual Discourses (pub. 1778) to the students of the academy in which he set forth the idealistic, moralizing principles of academic art. In 1784 he succeeded Allan Ramsay as painter to the king; in the same year he exhibited his portrait of the English actor Sarah Siddons as the Tragic Muse (1784, Huntington Art Gallery, San Marino, California), probably his greatest portrait. Other well-known paintings are Nelly O'Brien (1760-62, Wallace Collection, London), Lady Sarah Bunbury (1765, Art Institute of Chicago), Heads of Angels (1787, Tate Gallery, London), and Age of Innocence (1788, Tate Gallery).

Reynolds is credited with more than 2000 portraits. Stylistically, he was influenced by Michelangelo and the Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens. Reynolds's portraits were distinguished by calm dignity, classical allusions, rich color, and realistic portrayal of character. Unfortunately, his use of bitumen (or asphalt) and experimental pigments made some of his colors fade prematurely. Nevertheless, his portraits form an epitome of London society of his day. He died in London on February 23, 1792. © Microsoft® Encarta '97


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Sir Joshua Reynolds: A Collection of Fifteen Pictures and a Portrait of the Painter by Estelle May Hurll – Hardcover: 122 pages; Palala Press (May 1, 2016)

This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work

Joshua Reynolds: Experiments In Paint by Lucy Davis, Mark Hallett – Paperback: 192 pages; Paul Holberton Publishing; 1st edition (Mar 19, 2015) Best Seller

Offering new insights into the artistic practice of Sir Joshua Reynolds, this catalogue investigates his radical manipulation of pigments, oils, glazes and varnishes. It traces his experiments with color, tone and handling, reveals his continual temptation to rework and revise his pictures, and illuminates his highly creative responses to the new exhibition culture of his day.

Art and Celebrity in the Age of Reynolds and Siddons by Heather McPherson – Hardcover: 272 pages; Penn State University Press; 1st edition (Jan 19, 2017)

In this volume, Heather McPherson examines the connections among portraiture, theater, the visual arts, and fame to shed light on the emergence of modern celebrity culture in eighteenth-century England.

Joshua Reynolds: The Creation of Celebrity by Martin Postle – Paperback: 296 pages; Tate (Jun 1, 2004)

Published to accompany a major Tate exhibition, this book features many of Reynolds's most famous and beautiful portraits. Sections consider the friendships Reynolds cultivated with the famous and infamous figures of his time, among them politicians, courtesans, writers, war heroes, and aristocrats. These flamboyant and influential subjects helped to promote and sustain Reynolds's distinguished career and, ultimately, to secure his enduring popularity with audiences today. AUTHOR BIO: Mark Hallett is reader in history of art at the University of York. Tim Clayton is a former research fellow at Worcester College, Oxford. Martin Postle is a Tate curator and an authority on the art of Joshua Reynolds. Stella Tillyard is the internationally acclaimed author of The Aristocrats.

Sir Joshua Reynolds: The Subject Pictures by Martin J. Postle – Hardcover: 374 pages; Cambridge University Press (Short) (Jan 1995)

Sir Joshua Reynolds' subject pictures were among the most widely discussed British paintings of the eighteenth century. Today Reynolds's reputation rests principally on his portraits, his theoretical writings on art and his role as president of the Royal Academy. But while he could complete the face of a portrait sitter in a matter of hours, his subject paintings often occupied him for months or even years, and it is clear from Reynolds's own preoccupation with them, and the critical coverage they received during his day, that the subject pictures lay at the very heart of Reynolds's practice as a painter. In this, the first book to be devoted to this aspect of Reynolds' work, the subject pictures are shown as playing a vital role in shaping attitudes to high art during the major transitions in British culture of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Sir Joshua Reynolds (1986)
Color, NTSC
VHS Release Date: Jun 13, 2000
Run Time: 56 minutes

In the 18th century, the Age of Enlightenment, the British upper classes resolved to fill their stately homes with noble pictures of themselves. No painter was better suited to this purpose than Joshua Reynolds, a man of tremendous social self-confidence.

Reynolds by Nicholas Penny – Hardcover: 408 pages; Harry N Abrams; 1st edition (Sep 1, 1986)

Sir Joshua Reynolds played an important and varied role in late 18th century English life. As the first president of the Royal Academy of Arts, Reynolds had a great influence on British art; as the preeminent portrait painter he left a definitive record of his period, and as a cultivated man of his time he was a friend of the many actors and writers who so enriched their century. Published on the occasion of an exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1986, with essays by eminent scholars, this work provides fine color reproductions, many for the first time, with biographical details of the sitters, and examines, as well, the sketchbooks and carica tures. An extensive bibliography completes this excellent volume. Highly recommended. Paula Frosch, Metropolitan Museum Lib., Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Reynolds: Portraiture in Action by Mark Hallett – Hardcover: 488 pages; Paul Mellon Centre for British Art; 1st Edition (Sep 23, 2014) Best Seller

A deeply researched and elegantly written study on Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792)—Georgian England’s most celebrated portraitist and the first president of the British Royal Academy of Arts—this lavishly illustrated volume explores all aspects of Reynolds’s portraiture.

Memoirs of Sir Joshua Reynolds by Joseph Farington – Paperback: 240 pages; Pallas Athene (Jul 1, 2005)

Sir Joshua Reynolds was the most fashionable painter of his time. His talent and ambition made him the first English painter of European stature—an especially impressive feat considering portraiture, his chosen field, was often ignored or dismissed. His position at the heart of British intellectual life gave painting a new presence and transformed the way art was made and appreciated in Britain. In Memoirs of Sir Joshua Reynolds, the artist’s life and career are illuminated by Joseph Farington, a fellow painter of the next generation and the best diarist of his day. Farington, who knew Reynolds, offers a uniquely astute assessment of his importance to British art.

Sir Joshua Reynolds: A Complete Catalogue of His Paintings by David Mannings, Martin Postle (Contributor) – Hardcover: 1264 pages; Paul Mellon Center BA; Boxed edition (Nov 10, 2000)

From Library Journal: It has been a full century since the last complete catalog of Reynolds's works was published, bringing together paintings scattered throughout the world on museum walls and in the corridors of stately homes. Mannings (history of art, Univ. of Aberdeen) and Postle (senior curator, Tate Collections) have produced an outstanding scholarly work that could well serve students of 18th-century art history for the next century. Relying on first-hand inspection of the works wherever possible and using current techniques and methodology, the authors present an important reexamination of the paintings along with new insights into studio practices and procedures of the period. The introductory essays are examples of art history at its best, with no sacrifice of clarity to scholarship. The text volume is divided into portraits (including self-portraits) and subject pictures, landscapes, and copies after old masters, all in alphabetical order. Each entry has a wealth of detail that includes descriptive, historical, and bibliographical data as well as listings of any copies; also included are the dates of sittings, comments made about the work, and the price paid. The plates volume follows much the same order, with the addition of 136 excellent color plates of varying themes; these are followed by black-and-white illustrations of portraits in chronological order, with the subject pictures following in alphabetical order. Extensive endmatter and appendixes complete the book. An outstanding example of art history at its best, these volumes will serve their readers in many ways and for many years. —Paula Frosch, Metropolitan Museum of Art Lib., New York Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

The Letters of Sir Joshua Reynolds (Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art) by John Ingamells (Editor), John Edgcumbe (Editor) – Hardcover: 320 pages; Paul Mellon Center BA (Dec 11, 2000)

This book includes all the surviving letters of Sir Joshua Reynolds, Britain's most esteemed eighteenth-century portrait painter. Reynolds's 308 letters-almost double the number included in the last published edition of his letters-are accompanied by detailed notes that illuminate the correspondence and identify the friends, family members, and patrons to whom he wrote. Published for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art.

Sir Joshua Reynolds: The Painter in Society by Richard Wendorf – Hardcover, Harvard University Press, 1996

"[A] luminous study of Reynolds...After finishing this book, we are left not only with an understanding and appreciation of Sir Joshua Reynold's public eminence in art and society, but also of the human side to his private life." —Michael Shinagel, HARVARD REVIEW


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