(Born Plympton [now a suburb of Plymouth], Devon, 16 July 1723; died London, 23 February 1792). English painter and writer on art. Reynolds was the leading portraitist of his day, the first president of the Royal Academy, a major art theorist, and perhaps the most important figure in the history of British painting, for through his social and intellectual eminence he raised his profession to a new level of dignity. He was the son of a scholarly clergyman, and was brought up in an atmosphere of learning (he said he owed his ‘first fondness’ for art to Jonathan Richardson the Elder's Essay on the Theory of Painting, which he read in his father's library). From 1740 to 1743 he studied painting in London under Hudson (likewise a Devonshire man), then set up independently as a portraitist a year before his apprenticeship was due to end (the parting was amicable—he and Hudson remained on good terms).

Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)

Do you know someone who would love this resource?
Tell them about it...