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Sir Joshua Reynolds

(1723-1792), Painter and first President of the Royal Academy

Sitter associated with 38 portraits
Artist associated with 1413 portraits
Reynolds was the first President of the Royal Academy and Britain's leading portrait painter. In his attempt to raise the status of portraiture, he created the 'Grand Manner' which borrowed from classical antiquity and the Old Masters to fill his portraits with moral and heroic symbolism. An incredible socialite, social climber and self-promoter, Reynolds used his contacts to advance himself. Appointed President of the newly established Royal Academy in 1768, his annual lectures - or Discourses on Art - had a lasting impact on the contemporary theory of art and practice.

Watch a film clip on the artist from the BBC Archive in the Media section below

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Charles Burney, by Sir Joshua Reynolds - NPG 3884

Charles Burney

by Sir Joshua Reynolds
oil on canvas, 1781
On display in Room 12 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 3884

Mary Robinson (née Darby), by or after Sir Joshua Reynolds - NPG 5264

Mary Robinson (née Darby)

by or after Sir Joshua Reynolds
pen and brown ink over pencil, circa 1782
NPG 5264

William (Thomas) Beckford, by Sir Joshua Reynolds - NPG 5340

William (Thomas) Beckford

by Sir Joshua Reynolds
oil on canvas, 1782
On display in Room 12 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 5340

James Boswell, by Sir Joshua Reynolds - NPG 4452

James Boswell

by Sir Joshua Reynolds
oil on canvas, 1785
On display in Room 12 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 4452

James Boswell, studio of Sir Joshua Reynolds - NPG 1675

James Boswell

studio of Sir Joshua Reynolds
oil on canvas, based on a work of circa 1785
NPG 1675

John Hunter, by John Jackson, after  Sir Joshua Reynolds - NPG 77

John Hunter

by John Jackson, after Sir Joshua Reynolds
oil on canvas, 1813, based on a work of 1786
NPG 77

Hon. William Windham, by Sir Joshua Reynolds - NPG 704

Hon. William Windham

by Sir Joshua Reynolds
oil on canvas, 1787
NPG 704

Maria Anne Fitzherbert (née Smythe), by Sir Joshua Reynolds - NPG L162

Maria Anne Fitzherbert (née Smythe)

by Sir Joshua Reynolds
oil on canvas, circa 1788
On display in Room 17 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG L162

James Boswell, by James Brownlee Hunter, after  Sir Joshua Reynolds - NPG 4344

James Boswell

by James Brownlee Hunter, after Sir Joshua Reynolds
monochrome watercolour on paper, late 19th century
NPG 4344

Samuel Johnson, by Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm, 1st Bt, after a painting by  Sir Joshua Reynolds - NPG 621

Samuel Johnson

by Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm, 1st Bt, after a painting by Sir Joshua Reynolds
painted plaster figure, 1881
NPG 621

Catherine (née More), Lady Chambers, by Richard Purcell (H. Fowler, Charles or Philip Corbutt), after  Sir Joshua Reynolds - NPG D1274

Catherine (née More), Lady Chambers

by Richard Purcell (H. Fowler, Charles or Philip Corbutt), after Sir Joshua Reynolds
mezzotint, mid 18th century
NPG D1274

Reverend Samuel Reynolds, by Samuel William Reynolds, published by  Henry Graves & Co, after  Sir Joshua Reynolds - NPG D39708

Reverend Samuel Reynolds

by Samuel William Reynolds, published by Henry Graves & Co, after Sir Joshua Reynolds
mezzotint, (circa 1746)
NPG D39708

Reverend Samuel Reynolds, by Samuel William Reynolds, published by  Henry Graves & Co, after  Sir Joshua Reynolds - NPG D39709

Reverend Samuel Reynolds

by Samuel William Reynolds, published by Henry Graves & Co, after Sir Joshua Reynolds
mezzotint, (circa 1746)
NPG D39709

Kitty Fisher, by Richard Houston, after  Sir Joshua Reynolds - NPG D1952

Kitty Fisher

by Richard Houston, after Sir Joshua Reynolds
mezzotint
NPG D1952

Media

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