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Sir Joshua Reynolds PRA FRS FRSA to be an English painter, specialising in portraits. John Russell claimed he was among the significant European painters of the 18th century. He promoted the "Grand Style" in paint which relied on idealization the the imperfect. He was a founder and an initial president the the royal Academy that Arts, and also was knighted by George III in 1769.

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Reynolds to be born in Plympton, Devon, ~ above 16 July 1723 the 3rd son the the Rev. Samuel Reynolds, grasp of the Plympton cost-free Grammar institution in the town. His father had been a fellow of Balliol College, Oxford, but did not send any type of of his sons come the university. One of his sisters was mar Palmer (1716–1794), seven years his senior, writer of Devonshire Dialogue, whose fondness for illustration is said to have had actually much influence on him when a boy. In 1740 she noted £60, fifty percent of the premium payment to cutting board Hudson the portrait-painter, for Joshua"s pupilage, and also nine years later advanced money for his expenses in Italy. His various other siblings included Frances Reynolds and Elizabeth Johnson.

As a boy, he came under the affect of Zachariah Mudge, who Platonistic ideology stayed with him all his life. Reynolds do extracts in his commonplace book from Theophrastus, Plutarch, Seneca, Marcus Antonius, Ovid, wilhelm Shakespeare, man Milton, Alexander Pope, man Dryden, Joseph Addison, Richard Steele, Aphra Behn, and also passages top top art theory by Leonardo da Vinci, Charles Alphonse Du Fresnoy, and André Félibien. The work that involved have the many influential influence on Reynolds was Jonathan Richardson"s one Essay ~ above the theory of painting (1715). Reynolds" annotated copy was shed for almost two hundred years until it showed up in a Cambridge bookshop, inscribed v the signature ‘J. Reynolds Pictor’, and is now in the collection of the imperial Academy of Arts, London.

Having shown very early interest in art, Reynolds to be apprenticed in 1740 to the stylish London portrait painter thomas Hudson, who had been born in Devon. Hudson had a repertoire of Old grasp drawings, consisting of some by Guercino, of i m sorry Reynolds made copies. Back apprenticed come Hudson for four years, Reynolds continued to be with him only until summer 1743. Having actually left Hudson, Reynolds functioned for part time together a portrait-painter in Plymouth Dock (now Devonport). He went back to London before the finish of 1744, however following his father"s fatality in so late 1745 he mutual a house in Plymouth Dock with his sisters.

In 1749, Reynolds met Commodore Augustus Keppel, that invited that to sign up with HMS Centurion, of i m sorry he had actually command, on a voyage to the Mediterranean. While through the ship he checked out Lisbon, Cadiz, Algiers, and Minorca. From Minorca he took trip to Livorno in Italy, and also then come Rome, where he invested two years, examining the Old Masters and acquiring a taste for the "Grand Style". Mr Edgcumbe, who had actually known Reynolds as a boy and also introduced him to Keppel, suggested he must study v Pompeo Batoni, the leading artist in Rome, yet Reynolds replied that he had actually nothing to find out from him. If in Rome he suffered a major cold, which left him partly deaf, and, together a result, he started to lug a small ear trumpet through which that is often pictured.

Reynolds took trip homeward overland via Florence, Bologna, Venice, and also Paris. He to be accompanied by Giuseppe Marchi, then aged about 17. Apart from a brief interlude in 1770, Marchi stayed in Reynolds" employment together a studio assistant for the remainder of the artist"s career. Following his come in England in October 1752, Reynolds spent three month in Devon, before establishing himself in London, where he stayed for the remainder of his life. He take it rooms in St Martin"s Lane, prior to moving to great Newport Street, his sister Frances acted as his housekeeper. He completed success rapidly, and also was exceptionally prolific. Mr Edgecumbe encourage the fight it out of Devonshire and also Duke that Grafton come sit because that him, and also other peers followed, consisting of the duke of Cumberland, third son of George II, in who portrait, follow to Nicholas penny "bulk is brilliantly converted into power". In 1760 Reynolds moved right into a huge house, with space to present his works and also accommodate his assistants, top top the west side of Leicester fields (now Leicester Square).

Alongside ambitious full-length portraits, Reynolds painted big numbers of smaller works. In the so late 1750s, in ~ the elevation of the society season, the received 5 or six sitters a day, each for an hour. By 1761 Reynolds might command a fees of 80 guineas for a full-length portrait; in 1764 he to be paid 100 guineas for a portrait of mr Burghersh.

The clothes of Reynolds" sitters was commonly painted by either among his pupils, his studio assistant Giuseppe Marchi, or the professional drapery artist Peter Toms. James Northcote, his pupil, wrote of this plan that "the imitation of specific stuffs is no the job-related of genius, but is to it is in acquired easily by practice, and also this was what his pupils can do by care and also time much more than that himself determined to bestow; but his own slight and masterly work was quiet the best." Lay figures were supplied to design the clothes.

Reynolds often adapted the poses of his subjects from the functions of earlier artists, a exercise mocked through Nathaniel Hone in a painting dubbed The Conjuror submitted to the imperial Academy exhibition of 1775, and also now in the repertoire of the national Gallery of Ireland. It reflects a figure representing, though no resembling, Reynolds, sit in prior of a cascade of prints from which Reynolds had obtained with varying degrees of subtlety.

Although not well-known principally for his landscapes, Reynolds did repaint in this genre. That had great vantage indigenous his house, Wick House, top top Richmond Hill, and also painted the view in around 1780.

Reynolds likewise was known for his portraits of children. The emphasized the innocence and also natural elegant of kids when showing them. His 1788 portrait, age of Innocence, is his ideal known character study of a child. The topic of the painting is no known, return conjecture consists of Theophila Gwatkin, his great niece, and also Lady ann Spencer, the youngest daughter that the fourth battle each other of Marlborough.

Reynolds worked long hrs in his studio, seldom taking a holiday. He to be gregarious and also keenly intellectual, with plenty of friends from London"s intelligentsia, numbered amongst whom to be Dr Samuel Johnson, Oliver Goldsmith, Edmund Burke, Giuseppe Baretti, Henry Thrale, David Garrick, and also artist Angelica Kauffman. Johnson claimed in 1778: "Reynolds is too much under Fox and also Burke at present. That is under the Fox star and the irish constellation . The is constantly under some planet".

Because of his popularity as a portrait painter, Reynolds enjoyed continuous interaction with the wealthy and famous men and also women of the day, and it to be he who brought together the figures of "The Club". The was established in 1764 and met in a suite of rooms ~ above the very first floor that the Turks Head in ~ 9 Gerrard Street, now significant by a plaque. Initial members included Burke, Bennet Langton, Topham Beauclerk, Goldsmith, Anthony Chamier, thomas Hawkins, and Nugent, come be join by Garrick, Boswell, and also Sheridan. In ten year the membership had risen to 35. The society met every Monday evening for supper and also conversation and also continued into the early hours that Tuesday morning. In later years, it met fortnightly throughout Parliamentary sessions. As soon as in 1783 the landlord of the Turks Head died and also the residential or commercial property was sold, The Club relocated to Sackville Street.

Reynolds was one of the more quickly members of the Royal culture of Arts, helped discovered the culture of artists of good Britain, and also in 1768 came to be the first president the the imperial Academy the Arts, a place he to be to host until his death. In 1769, he to be knighted through George III, only the second artist to it is in so honoured. His Discourses, a series of lectures ceded at the Academy in between 1769 and 1790, are remembered for your sensitivity and also perception. In one lecture he expressed the opinion the "invention, strict speaking, is little much more than a new mix of those pictures which have actually been previously gathered and also deposited in the memory." wilhelm Jackson in his contemporary essays stated of Reynolds " over there is much ingenuity and also originality in every his academic discourses, replete with classical knowledge of his art, acute remarks on the functions of others, and also general taste and also discernment".

Reynolds and also the imperial Academy received a combined reception. Critics contained William Blake who published the vitriolic Annotations to teacher Joshua Reynolds" Discourses in 1808. J. M. W. Turner and James Northcote were fervent acolytes: Turner requested he be laid to remainder at Reynolds" side, and also Northcote, that spent four years as Reynolds" pupil, composed to his family members "I know him thoroughly, and also all his faults, ns am sure, and also yet almost worship him."

On 10 august 1784 Allan Ramsay died and the office of principal Painter in ordinary to King George III became vacant. Gainsborough felt that he had a good chance of securing it, but Reynolds felt that deserved it and threatened to resign the presidency the the royal Academy if that did not obtain it. Reynolds noted in his bag book: "Sept. 1, 2½, to attend at the mr Chancellor"s Office to it is in sworn in painter to the King". It did not make Reynolds happy, however, together he created to Boswell: "If I had known what a shabby miserable location it is, I would not have actually asked because that it; as well as as things have turned out i think a specific person is not worth speak to, no one speaking of", presumably definition the king. Reynolds created to Jonathan Shipley, Bishop the St Asaph, a few weeks later: "Your Lordship congratulation on my doing well Mr. Ramsay ns take really kindly, yet it is a many miserable office, the is lessened from 2 hundred come thirty-eight pounds every annum, the emperors Rat catcher I think is a much better place, and also I to be to be paid just a fourth part of what I have actually from other people, so the the Portraits of their Majesties are not most likely to be much better done now, than they supplied to be, I must be damaged if i was to repaint them myself".

In 1787 Reynolds painted the portrait of mr Heathfield, who came to be a nationwide hero because that the effective defence that Gibraltar in the an excellent Siege from 1779 to 1783 against the combined forces that France and Spain. Heathfield is depicted versus a background of clouds and also cannon smoke, attract the uniform the the 15th light Dragoons and clasping the vital of the Rock, its chain wrapped twice about his best hand. John Constable said in the 1830s the it was "almost a history of the defence that Gibraltar". Desmond Shawe-Taylor has declared that the portrait may have a spiritual meaning, Heathfield hold the crucial similar to St. Peter (Jesus" "rock") possessing the keys to Heaven, Heathfield "the absent upon i m sorry Britannia build her army interests".

In 1789, Reynolds shed the vision of his left eye, which compelled him right into retirement. In 1791 James Boswell dedicated his Life of Samuel Johnson to Reynolds. Reynolds agreed v Burke"s reflect on the change in France and, writing in at an early stage 1791, to express his id that the ancien régime the France had actually fallen as result of spending too lot time tending, as he place it,

to the splendor of the foliage, come the overlook of the stirring the earth around the roots. They cultivated only those arts which could include splendor come the nation, come the disregard of those which supported it – castle neglected profession & considerable Manufacture ... Yet does it follow that a total revolution is necessary that due to the fact that we have offered ourselves increase too lot to the ornaments of life, we will now have none at all.When attending a dinner at Holland House, Fox"s nephew Caroline was sat alongside Reynolds and also "burst out into glorification that the change – and was grievously chilled and also checked by she neighbour"s cautious and also unsympathetic tone".

On 4 June 1791 in ~ a dinner at the Freemasons" Tavern to note the king"s birthday, Reynolds drank to the toasts "GOD conserve the KING!" and "May our glorious structure under which the art flourish, it is in immortal!", in what to be reported by the general public Advertiser as "a fervour truly patriotick". Reynolds "filled the chair v a many convivial glee". He returned to town native Burke"s house in Beaconsfield and also Edmond Malone wrote that "we left his carriage at the Inn in ~ Hayes, and walked 5 miles on the road, in a warmth day, without his complaining of any kind of fatigue".

Later that month Reynolds suffered from a ede over his left eye and had to be purged through a surgeon. In October that was too ill to take the president"s chair and in November Frances Burney taped that

I had actually long languished to view that kindly zealous friend, yet his ok health had intimidated me from making the attempt": "He had actually a bandage over one eye, and also the other shaded v a green half-bonnet. He appeared serious also to sadness, though very kind. "I am very glad," he said, in a meek voice and dejected accent, "to view you again, and also I great I could see you better! yet I have actually only one eye now, and also hardly that." ns was really quite touched.On 5 November Reynolds, fearing he might not have actually an possibility to write a will, composed a memorandum to plan to it is in his critical will and testament, through Edmund Burke, Edmond Malone, and also Philip Metcalfe named as executors. Top top 10 November Reynolds wrote to Benjamin West to resign the presidency, yet the general Assembly agreed he have to be re-elected, v Sir william Chambers and West to deputise for him.

Doctors Richard Warren and also Sir George Baker believed Reynolds" condition to it is in psychological and also they bled his neck "with a view of illustration the humour native his eyes" yet the effect, in the check out of his niece, was that it seemed "as if the "principle that life" were gone" from Reynolds. On new Year"s day 1792 Reynolds ended up being "seized with sickness" and from that suggest could not keep down food. Reynolds died on 23 February 1792 in ~ his home in Leicester areas in London between eight and also nine in the evening.

Burke was existing on the night Reynolds died, and also was moved within hrs to create a eulogy of Reynolds starting with the complying with sentiments: "Sir Joshua Reynolds was on an extremely many accounts one of the many memorable males of his Time. He was the an initial Englishman who included the praise of the elegant Arts to the various other Glories that his Country. In Taste, in grace, in facility, in happy invention, and also in the richness and also Harmony of colouring, the was same to the great masters that the famous Ages." Burke"s tribute was well received and also one journalist referred to as it "the eulogium of Apelles pronounce by Pericles".

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Reynolds was buried at St Paul"s Cathedral. In 1903, a statue, by Alfred Drury, was erected in his honour in Annenberg Courtyard the Burlington House, residence of the imperial Academy. About the statue are fountains and also lights, mounted in 2000, arranged in the sample of a star graph at midnight on the night that Reynolds" birth. The planets are marked by granite discs, and the Moon by a water recess.