In one of the best exhibitions in London 2015, The Wallace Collection, London presents 18th century painter, Sir Joshua Reynolds, as an eager experimentalist.
The exhibition invites us to see Reynolds as much more than the Royal Academy’s first President. Frequently considered a somewhat conventional giant of the 18th-century establishment, this selection of 20 well-known works from world-class institutions reveals that Reynolds was a pioneer of numerous techniques and pictorial effects.
Sir Joshua Reynolds Signature Style
Reynolds promoted the “Grand Style” of idealised subjects, perhaps as a result of training with fashionable London portraitist Thomas Hudson – a keen collector of Old Master drawings. While this Wallace Collection exhibition acknowledges the artist’s emulation of the Greats, it places emphasis on Reynolds’s experiments with paint, composition and the styling of sitters to make a compelling case for his innovative originality.
What can we expect from the Wallace Collection show?
After four years of research by the National Gallery, London and The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, this exhibition offers an exceptional look at Reynolds’s unorthodox choices of materials, mixtures of paint and complex layering techniques. X-ray images and technical information placed beside paintings give viewers unprecedented insight into the artist’s process, with sketches and variations hiding underneath the patina of finished works. We are encouraged to appreciate Reynolds’s portraits in a new light at the Wallace Collection, London.
Material, technique and history all shine through in an engaging rather than an overpowering way thanks to a selection of work that spans Reynolds’s career and features some of his best known and most loved-pieces. Amongst the highlights look out for the portraits Nelly O’Brien (c.1762-1764), Mrs. Abington as Miss Prue (1771) and Reynolds’s celebrated Self Portrait Shading the Eyes (1747-1749.)
Exploring the hidden narratives of one of Britain’s most famous artists, this London art show is a hidden gem of the 2015 exhibition calendar.
|What||Joshua Reynolds: Experiments in Paint, The Wallace Collection|
|Where||The Wallace Collection, Hertford House, Manchester Square, London, W1U 3BN | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Bond Street (underground)|
12 Mar 15 – 07 Jun 15, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
|Website||Click here for more information|