Reynolds, Sir Joshua (17231792)

Reynolds, Sir Joshua, the chief of English portrait-painters, born near Plymouth; went to London in 1740 to study art, and remained three years; visited Italy and the great centres of art there, when he lost his hearing, and settled in London in 1752, where he began to paint portraits, and had as the subjects of his art the most distinguished people, “filled England with the ghosts of her noble squires and dames”; numbered among his friends all the literary notabilities of the day; he was the first President of the Royal Academy, and though it was no part of his duty, delivered a succession of discourses to the students on the principles and practice of painting, 15 of which have been published, and are still held in high esteem (17231792).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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