Sir Joshua Reynolds PRA (Plympton 1723 - London 1792)
A label on the back of this self-portrait suggests that Reynolds presented it to the 3rd Duke of Dorset – a close friend and probably his most important patron of the 1770s – in 1780. However, the Duke’s account book records a payment for a self-portrait in 1778. The painting closely resembles another of Reynolds’ self-portraits in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence.
Oil painting on canvas, Self-portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds (Plympton 1723 - London 1792), 1775-80. A half-length portrait, standing in profile to right, gazing over his shoulder at the spectator, wearing the red academic robes of D.C.L., and a black hat, holding a scroll in his right hand. Another version of this portrait, perhaps the original, is in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence.
On the lining canvas (transcribed from the original canvas?), in black script: Sir Josa: Reynolds painted by Himself / and Presented to His Grace the Duke of Dorset / in 1780; and the undated end of the list of the 3rd Duke’s pictures – apparently in London (certainly dating from 1790 or after, since it includes Mosnier’s Girl in a straw hat) – records a self-portrait, described as ‘Sr. J. Reynolds, by himself. Pt. [= part payment]’, for which £37.16 had been paid; yet it had earlier been seen by Horace Walpole in the ‘Chamber of Poets’ at Knole on 30 August 1780; and was again at Knole, in the 1799 inv., Dining Parlour: “Sir Jos. Reynolds 2 Himself”; 1828 inv. Dining Room (No.41); on loan from the Trustees of the Sackville Estate
Knole, The Sackville Collection (National Trust)
Makers and roles
Sir Joshua Reynolds PRA (Plympton 1723 - London 1792), artist
Waagen 1857 Gustav Waagen, Galleries and Cabinets of Art in Great Britain, London, 1857, supplementary vol., 1857, p.341; Graves and Cronin 1899-1901 Algernon Graves and W.V.Cronin, A History of the Works of Sir Joshua Reynolds, 4 vols, London 1899-1901, II, p.801 Armstrong 1900 Sir Walter Armstrong, Sir Joshua Reynolds, First President of the Royal Academy, 1900, p.226 Mannings, 2000: David Mannings, Sir Joshua Reynolds: A Complete Catalogue of his Paintings. The Subject Pictures catalogued by Martin Postle, New Haven & London, 2000, no.17, p.50 & fig.1150