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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 the Honourable 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)

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

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