Joshua Reynolds

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Reynolds, Joshua


Born July 16, 1723, in Plympton, Devonshire; died Feb. 23, 1792, in London. English painter.

Reynolds studied in London with T. Hudson from 1740 to 1743. He worked in Devonshire and London. From 1749 to 1752 he traveled in Europe, studying the works of Rembrandt, Rubens, and the 16th-century Venetian masters. Reynolds was a founder of the London Royal Academy of Arts; he served as the academy’s first president from 1768 to 1790.

Creatively reinterpreting the traditions of formal baroque portraiture and combining the grandeur of the overall concept with natural characterization, Reynolds sought to represent the ideal personality within the proper sociohistorical framework. He used dynamic composition, fluid brushstroke, and lush colors to achieve an effect of naturalness (as seen in Jane, Countess Harrington, 1777–79, Huntington Art Gallery, San Marino, Calif.).

Many of Reynold’s portraits were in the form of allegorical scenes—for example, Garrick Between Comedy and Tragedy (c. 1760–61, Lord Rothschild Collection, Cambridge). The artist’s self-portraits and portraits of his friends (for example, Dr. Samuel Johnson, 1772, Tate Gallery, London) are noted for their psychological expressiveness. His portraits of friends were deliberately simple in execution.

Reynold’s art theory, dominated by conventional classicist views, was more conservative than his art.


Graves, A., and W. Cronin. A History of the Works of Sir Joshua Reynolds, vols. London, 1899–1901.
Hudson, D. Sir Joshua Reynolds, a Personal Study. London, 1958.
Waterhouse, E. K. Reynolds. London, 1973.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Joshua Reynolds 4.05 Haydock 1pt win VVRETURN to optimum trip can prove key to success There are a couple of runners who catch the eye today who have run over trips that are not their optimum last time and could bounce back now returned to what appears their ideal distance.
(1) Joshua Reynolds, Fifteen Discourses Delivered in the Royal Academy (J.
Christie's conducted the greatest auctions of the 18th and 19th centuries, including negotiating with Catherine the Great the sale of Sir Robert Walpole's collection of paintings, which would form the base of the Hermitage Museum Collection; the sale of the contents of Sir Joshua Reynold's studio; the sale of Madame du Barry's jewels; and the disposition of the collection of the Duke of Buckingham at Stowe House, which lasted 40 days.
The opening portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds shows Walpole as rather a wraith- like figure and, indeed, he would mince rather than walk, as if 'afraid of a wet floor'.
As Schimmelman's work proves, these artists relied on what are now the classic works of eighteenth-century European aesthetics and Enlightenment thought, including Edmund Burke's A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1757) and Joshua Reynolds's Discourses (1769-90).
He feared being left alone when his friends wished to retire, kept many of them up till unconscionable hours and forced them to drink endless cups of tea, deranging (wrote one of Joshua Reynolds's biographers) "by his immobility, the domestic economy of the house." (7) Reynolds understood Johnson's dislike of being alone and in a perceptive passage observed, "Solitude to him was horror; nor would he ever trust himself alone unemployed in writing or reading.
His correspondents were not only other physicians but authors such as Samuel Johnson, the actor David Garrick, the painter Joshua Reynolds and many members of the ruling class, including George III's queen, Charlotte, several of whose children Hunter delivered.
In a footnote to his influential Essay on the Picturesque (1794), Uvedale Price retells an anecdote from Sir Joshua Reynolds in which Reynolds describes viewing with landscape artist Richard Wilson a real-life scene:
Giovanna Perini ("The Reception of Art in the Oeuvre of Sir Joshua Reynolds) combines and compares Reynolds drawings with his texts.
The artist took only one of these trips, however; She traveled to London, stayed at a hotel for three days, and visited the Wallace Collection to see the portrait of Miss Nelly O'Brien by Joshua Reynolds. The work also documents her reading: books by E.
"All the gestures of children are graceful," the artist Sir Joshua Reynolds once said--one reason, perhaps, that children make good subjects for magazine covers.
"Joshua Reynolds: The Creation of Celebrity" Tate Modern, London.