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Nymph and Piping Boy

Sir Joshua Reynolds PRA (Plympton 1723 - London 1792)

Category

Art / Oil paintings

Date

circa 1785 - 1786

Materials

Oil on canvas, and giltwood

Measurements

1270 x 1016 mm (50 x 40 in)

Place of origin

England

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Collection

Polesden Lacey, Surrey (Accredited Museum)

On show at

Polesden Lacey, Surrey, London and South East, National Trust

NT 1246450

Caption

This use of a naked female model was unusual practice for Reynolds.There exist preliminary drawings, obviously taken from life, one of which is in the British Museum (1886.0609.35). These show his working up of the pose for the painting of a Reclining Bacchante, or Venus which he exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1785 (126) and which was still in his collection at his death. It is close in composition to this picture, although it included a Cupid figure rather than a piping boy.This painting was once owned by John Julius Angerstein, whose collection of 38 pictures formed the foundation of the National Gallery, but was not included amongst them. Reynolds was studying the Old Masters like Titian, evident in the landscape, and the drawings of the French rococo artists, Boucher and Watteau.

Summary

Oil painting on canvas, Nymph and Piping Boy by Sir Joshua Reynolds (Plympton 1723 - London 1792), circa 1785. The nymph reclines at the left on white and yellow drapery under a red canopy in a wooded landscape; she wears a wreath of flowers in her hair and looks towards a boy dressed in red velvet, who is seated at the right playing a pipe.

Provenance

John Julius Angerstein (1735 - 1823) - mentioned in his house, Woodlands, at Blackheath in 1796; see Lyson's 'Environs of London', IV, p. 462; Sir Cuthbert Quilter (1841-1911) before 1891; his sale, Christie's, 9 July 1909, lot 93, bought by Agnew for C.S. Gulbenkian (1869 - 1955) and bought back 11.7.1914; sold to Mrs. Greville for £7,410, 12.12.1917; bequeathed by Margaret McEwan, The Hon. Mrs Ronald Greville (1863-1942) with Polesden Lacey, to the National Trust, in memory of her father, William McEwan (1827-1913)

Credit line

Polesden Lacey, The McEwan Collection (National Trust)

Makers and roles

Sir Joshua Reynolds PRA (Plympton 1723 - London 1792), artist

References

Lysons 1792 Daniel Lysons, The Environs of London, London, 1792, IV, p. 462 Mannings, 2000: David Mannings, Sir Joshua Reynolds: A Complete Catalogue of his Paintings. The Subject Pictures catalogued by Martin Postle, New Haven & London, 2000, 2176, p. 572

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