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Joshua Reynolds

Born: Plympton, England, 23 July 1723
Died: London, 17 February 1792
Nationality: English

father was professor at Oxford University


apprentice to Thomas Hudson (1740-43, London); St Martin’s Lane Academy (1750s, London)


1753 - moves to London as portrait painter

1760 - exhibits 4 portraits at Society of Artists exhibition (England’s first public art exhibition)

1762 - founds Literary Club

1766 - Society of Dilettanti member

1768 - Royal Academy of Art co-founder; first president

1769 - knighted by George III; appointed official painter to Society of  Dilettanti; gives first “Discourse” lecture at RA

1773 - elected mayor of Plympton

1775 - elected to Florence (Italy) Academy

1778 - Discourses published

1784 - appointed 1st Painter to George III (King of England)

1786 - John Boydell commissions 3 paintings for Shakespeare Gallery


Rome (1750-52), Paris (1768, 1771), The Netherlands (1781)

Commissions from: 

George III (King of England), Catherine the Great (Empress of Russia), John Boydell

Important Artworks: 

Commodore Augustus Keppel, 1749 (National Maritime Museum, London) 

Parody of the School of Athens, 1751 (National Gallery, Dublin)

Captain Robert Orme, 1756 (National Gallery, London)  
David Garrick between Tragedy and Comedy, 1762 (private collection)

Lady Elizabeth Delmé and her Children, 1777-79 (National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC)

The Infant Hercules, 1788 Royal Academy exhibition (Hermitage, St Petersburg)

Many of Reynolds’s paintings were engraved and sold as prints