Happy Birthday Sir Joshua!

July 16 2014

Image of Happy Birthday Sir Joshua!

Picture: Yale

I try to avoid 'on this day' things, but today being Sir Joshua Reynolds' birthday gives me a chance to recommend a new book on Reynolds by Professor Mark Hallett, formerly of York University and now Director of the invaluable Paul Mellon Centre in London. The book is, says the Yale site:

A deeply researched and elegantly written study on Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792)—Georgian England’s most celebrated portraitist and the first president of the British Royal Academy of Arts—this lavishly illustrated volume explores all aspects of Reynolds’s portraiture. Mark Hallett provides detailed, compelling readings of Reynolds’s most celebrated and striking works, investigating the ways in which they were appreciated and understood in his own lifetime. Recovering the artist’s dynamic interaction with his sitters and patrons, and revealing the dramatic impact of his portraits within the burgeoning exhibition culture of late-18th-century London, Hallett also unearths the intimate relationship between Reynolds’s paintings and graphic art.  Reynolds: Portraiture in Action offers a new understanding of the artist’s career within the extremely competitive London art world and takes readers into the engrossing debates and controversies that captivated the city and its artists.

Update - it's also Andrea Del Sarto's birthday apparently.

Update II - and Corot's.

Update III - the Grumpy Art Historian has read the book, and loved it.

Update IV - Neil Jeffares loves it too. 

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