Sir Joshua Reynolds(1723-1792), Painter and first President of the Royal Academy
Sitter associated with 39 portraits
Artist associated with 1415 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.
- All paintings by this artist on the Art UK website
- Blue plaque, Fanum House (site of 47), Leicester Square, Leicester Square, London WC2
- Harewood House, Leeds, Yorkshire
- Knole , Sevenoaks, Kent
- Mount Edgcumbe House and Country Park, Cornwall
- Sir Joshua Reynolds in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
- Waddesdon Manor-the Rothschild Collection, Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire
- Wilton House, Salisbury, Wiltshire
Become a Member
Enjoy access to special events, discounts on the Gallery online shop, supporters’ updates and much more
Bringing people together by sharing the portraits and stories of the men and women who have shaped our nation.
Sign up to receive information on exhibitions, collections and activities of the National Portrait Gallery, including special offers, shop products, and exclusive competitions.