Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723 - 1792) England
Title: The Croquette
Line Engraving on Paper
Measure 6 1/2"in H x 5"in W and 18 3/4"in H x 17 1/4"in W with frame
Known for: Portrait painting-Grand Style
Name variants: Sir Joshua Reynolds
Biography: Sir Joshua Reynolds was born at Plympton Earl in Devonshire, England in 1723. In 1740, after acknowledging the precocity of his talent, he was sent by his father to London, where he studied with Thomas Hudson, a competent but totally uninspired specialist in portraits. He worked in Plymouth Dock, London and Devonshire before sailing for Italy in 1750. The two years he spent there had a profound influence upon him and his subsequent career. His lifelong admiration for Michelangelo, Raphael, Guido Reni, Corregio, and Titian stemmed from this sojourn. From them he was later to borrow his poses, coloring and technical innovations. Gainsborough and Reynolds were rivals in their own time and have been rivals in public estimation ever since. Occasionally their portraits have a certain outer resemblance, largely because they both painted their subjects in the same fashionable costumes. But Gainsborough was as impulsive and unreasoning as Reynolds was cool and intellectual, so although they respected each other's work the two could scarcely have been friends. In 1768 Reynolds became the first President of the Royal Academy; he was also elected mayor of his native Plympton. He resigned as President of the Academy in 1790 after a quarrel with the Council. He died in 1792.