Sir Joshua Reynolds was an influential eighteenth-century English painter, specialising in portraits and promoting the "Grand Style" in painting which depended on idealization of the imperfect. He was one of the founders and first president of the Royal Academy. King George III appreciated his merits and knighted him in 1769.
Reynolds was born in Plympton, Devon. As a boy, he came under the influence of Zachariah Mudge, whose Platonistic philosophy stayed with him all his life. Having shown an early interest in art, Reynolds was apprenticed in 1740 to the fashionable London portrait painter Thomas Hudson. Reynolds worked for some time as a portrait-painter in Plymouth Dock (now Devonport). He returned to London before the end of 1744.
In 1749, Reynolds met Commodore Augustus Keppel, who invited him to join HMS Centurion, of which he had command, on a voyage to the Mediterranean. While with the ship he visited Lisbon, Cadiz, Algiers, and Minorca. From Minorca he travelled to Livorno in Italy, and then to Rome, where he spent two years, studying the Old Masters and acquiring a taste for the "Grand Style". Reynolds travelled homeward overland via Florence, Bologna, Venice, and Paris.
Following his arrival in England in October 1752, he achieved success rapidly, and was extremely prolific. Alongside ambitious full-length portraits, Reynolds painted large numbers of smaller works. In the late 1750s, at the height of the social season, he received five or six sitters a day, each for an hour. Reynolds emphasized the natural grace of children in his paintings. He emphasized the innocence and natural grace of children when depicting them.
Reynolds worked long hours in his studio, rarely taking a holiday. He was gregarious and keenly intellectual, with many friends from London's intelligentsia. Because of his popularity as a portrait painter, Reynolds enjoyed constant interaction with the wealthy and famous men and women of the day. He was one of the earliest members of the Royal Society of Arts, helped found the Society of Artists, and, with Gainsborough, established the Royal Academy of Arts, a spin-off organisation. In 1768 he was made the Royal Academy's first president, a position he held until his death.
Georgian Times featured a wide gap between rich and poor and this was really visible in London. At the bottom of the social heap were ... read more
The Gemäldegalerie or Picture Gallery has presented to the public masterpieces of older Western painting in its newly erected building ... read more
The Jacquemart-André Museum is a public museum created from the private home of Édouard André (1833–1894) and Nélie Jacquemart ... read more
Set on the edge of Hampstead Heath and surrounded by huge gardens, Kenwood is one of London's hidden gems. Remodelled and extended by ... read more
The Louvre Museum is one of the world's largest museums, and a historic monument. Nearly 35,000 objects from prehistory to the 19th ... read more
The National Portrait Gallery is an art gallery in London housing a collection of portraits of historically important and famous British ... read more
A Royal Country has to have a Royal palace and a Royal art place. This can be found at the Royal Academy.
The place hosts ... read more
This is probably one of the quirckiest museum in London. The place was the house of John Soane, the son of a bricklayer; who designed ... read more
The best way to discover British Art in London is to visit the Tate Britain, the oldest gallery in town, opened in 1897. Its collection ... read more
When you enter in the Wallace Collection you feel the crack in the time, like being back in the past when discovering the interior of ... read more