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Recognised as the leading British portraitist of the 18th century

Joshua Reynolds (1723 – 1792)

was acclaimed during his lifetime for an innovative approach to painting

the famed and famous of British society.

His inventive techniques of paint composition/application

as well as an exceptional ability to capture aspects

of the sitters personality/character

assured the rendering of distinct and beautiful portraits.


He was the first president of the Royal Academy of Arts (established in 1768)

and was greatly influenced by study of works of the Italian Renaissance

as well as paintings attributed to masters such as

Rembrandt, Rubens and Van Dyck.

The Wallace Collection, London

is currently showcasing portraits by Joshua Reynolds in its exhibition-

Joshua Reynolds, Experiments in Paint.

Displayed in an intimate two-room setting,

the paintings are representative of Reynolds’ genius

and painstaking attention to exacting details.

Upon completing a portrait,

he was known to change elements of the sitter’s costume

to reflect the fashion which was most au courant.

This exhibition on the works of Joshua Reynolds is multi-informational:

a study of his artistry

an insight into the lifestyles of the glitterati of the time

a glimpse at contemporaneous fashion

(images from wsimag.com):

joshua reynolds, elizabeth seymour-conway, wallace collection

Lady Elizabeth Seymour-Conway, 1781 – 1784

Reynolds updated the hairstyle to that

which was en vogue at time of finishing the painting

The Seymour-Conway family were the founders

of the Wallace Collection

Frances, Countess of Lincoln by Joshua Reynolds, wallace Collection 1783 -84

Frances, Countess of Lincoln,  1783 – 1784

Sister of Lady Elizabeth Seymour-Conway

posed a ‘penseroso’

as in deep thought, with chin resting in hand

(image from nationalfundingscheme):

Mrs. Susanna Hoare and child by joshua reynolds, wallace collection

Mrs. Susanna Hoare and Child

The painting depicts an imagery of

Madonna and Child, reminiscent of Renaissance works

(image by wsimag.com):

Nelly O Brien by Joshua Reynolds 1762-64, wallace collection

Miss Nelly O’Brien,  1762 -1764

Mary Nesbitt, 1781 by joshua reynolds

Mrs. Mary Nesbitt, 1781

Socialite and courtesan

(image from the wallacecollection):

mary robinson by joshua reynolds

Mrs. Mary Robinson

Actress, writer, poet

early mistress of George IV while he was still Prince of Wales

Joshua Reynolds, Experiments in Paint

at the Wallace Collection, London

until 7 June 2015

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