Sir Joshua Reynolds, P.R.A. (1723-1792)
Sir Joshua Reynolds, P.R.A. (1723-1792)

Portrait of the Artist, half-length, in a fur-lined red coat

Sir Joshua Reynolds, P.R.A. (1723-1792)
Portrait of the Artist, half-length, in a fur-lined red coat
oil on canvas
30 x 25 in. (76.2 x 63.5 cm.)
Francis Thomas de Grey, 7th Earl Cowper, Panshanger Park, by 1885, and by descent through the Hon. Lady Salmond.
M.L. Boyle, Biographical Catalogue of The Portraits at Panshanger, the seat of the Earl Cowper, KG, London, 1885, pp. 213-25.
A. Graves and C. Cronin, A History of the Works of Sir Joshua Reynolds, P.R.A, London, 1899, II, p. 796.
E.K. Waterhouse, Reynolds, London, 1941, pp. 107, 96, and 61.
Sudbury, Gainsborough's House, and Plymouth City Art Gallery, Reynolds Self-Portraits, 1992, no.7.
W. Ridley, stipple engraving (oval, omitting the hand), 1 April 1782.

Lot Essay

Reynolds painted portraits of himself at regular intervals throughout his career. The earliest self-portrait, in oils, shows the artist as a young man in his early twenties, and is dated to circa 1746 (see Reynolds, catalogue to the exhibition at the Royal Academy, London, 1985-6, no. 6). Reynolds' final self-portrait, now in the Royal Collection, was painted in 1788, four years before his death (O. Millar, The Later Georgian Pictures in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen, London, 1969, I, no. 1008, II, plate 105).

This self-portrait was dated by Waterhouse (op.cit.) to 1770. A date in the late 1750s or early 1760s would, however, appear more likely on stylistic grounds and on the basis of the artist's apparent age. By 1760, the date of the artist's first public exhibition, and eight years after he had returned from Italy, Reynolds had already established himself as the leading portrait painter in London. A second version of this portrait is in a private collection in Cheshire.

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