Sir Joshua Reynolds P.R.A. 1723-1792

State before letters. A three-quarter-length portrait to right of Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723–1792) wearing a black toque-bonnet and the robes of an Oxford Doctor of Civil Law. He holds a rolled paper in his left hand and leans against a table, on top of which is a bust of Michelangelo by Daniele da Volterra (probably a cast of the original sculpture). This print was engraved by Valentine Green after the self-portrait which Reynolds painted around 1780 to hang in the Assembly Room of the Royal Academy’s newly premises in Somerset House. The print was published by Green on 1 December 1780. Reynolds was the first President of the Royal Academy, a role which he held from the Academy’s foundation in 1769 until his death in 1792. He depicted himself alongside a bust of Michelangelo to show his admiration for the Italian Renaissance artist, whom he frequently praised in his ‘Discourses’ – his annual addresses to the Royal Academy. Reynolds was one of the leading society portrait painters of his time and the National Maritime Museum holds a number of his works, including his famous full-length portrait of the naval officer Augustus Keppel (see BHC2823). (Updated May 2019.)

Object Details

ID: PAG6413
Type: Print
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Green, Valentine; Reynolds, Joshua
People: Reynolds, Joshua
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Sheet: 524 x 413 mm; Mount: 632 mm x 480 mm

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