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

Portrait of the Reverend Zachariah Mudge, half-length, in clerical dress

Details
Sir Joshua Reynolds, P.R.A. (1723-1792)
Portrait of the Reverend Zachariah Mudge, half-length, in clerical dress
with inscription on an old piece of canvas attached to stretcher 'The Revd. Z. Mudge by Sir Joshua Reynolds Knt P.R.A. The property of Mrs Mudge (widow of Thos Mudge (junior) Esq & of her daughter Charlotte'
oil on canvas
30 x 25 in. (63.5 x 76.2 cm.)
Provenance
Mrs Mudge (widow of Thomas Mudge Junior), and by descent to her daughter Charlotte.
with Thomas Agnews & Sons, London.
Literature
D. Mannings, Sir Joshua Reynolds, A Complete Catalogue of his Paintings, London, 2000, p.346.
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Lot Essay

The present work is one of three versions of a portrait by Reynolds of the Reverend Zachariah Mudge (1694-1769).
The sitter was the vicar of St. Andrew's, Plymouth, and Prebendary of Exeter (1736). He married Mary Fox in 1714, by whom he had four sons and a daughter, and secondly, in 1762, Elizabeth Neell (d.1782).
Mudge came to know Reynolds when he was working as second master to the artist's father, the Revd. Samuel Reynolds, at Exeter Grammar School in 1713. They were to form a life-long friendship, and James Northcote reported that Reynolds referred to Mudge as 'the wisest man he had ever met in his life' (Northcote, vol. I, p.115). He was particularly influenced by Mudge's interpretation of Platonic philosophy, opining that beauty subsisted purely as an idea within the mind.
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