Tuesday, March 10, 2009

more on Sir Joshua Reynolds

To continue from my March 1 entry, in which I comment that, after a sketch my cousin did of myself the afternoon before (including one of The Portrait, which was sort of why I let him sketch me), I felt like Sir Joshua Reynolds. I quote from this entry;
....lovely Lily and I went over to my cousin Craig's to visit with family in San Francisco. There we talked, walked in Golden Gate park, and, then, well, I felt like Sir Joshua Reynolds--the Royal Academy president and principal painter to King George III, who sat for Stuart in 1784, when he was 61. To quote a description of this portrait from the book Gilbert Stuart by Barratt & Miles: "he [Joshua] is aged, weak in the jaw, obviously deaf, and shown without allusion to his profession. ...Sir Joshua rejected the image, protesting that ‘if [Stuart's portrait] was like him, he did not know his own appearance!’ ”

Joshua Reynolds by Gilbert Stuart 1784, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

From Lawrence Park (see entry 2/20/09 "Sketch of Gibby & ...who is Lawrence Park?);
This celebrated English portrait painter was born July 16, 1723, at Plympton, in Devonshire. His father was the Reverand Samuel Reynolds, and his mother, Theophila, daughter of Matthew Potter. Studied under Thomas Hudson in London from 1740 to 1743. In 1749 he went to Italy and lived for two years in Rome. In 1752 he returned, via Paris, to London, and his brilliant career of forty years followed. In 1768 he was one of the founders of the Royal Academy, London, and became its first president . The same year he was knighted.

This portrait by Stuart caused consternation and dismay (besides of course the usual admiration)! Why? Instead of holding a brush or palette, he is holding a golden snuff box (and note, right hand, holding a pinch of snuff between thumb and forefinger!). What is a snuff box? A box which holds tobacco to be sniffed/snuffed. More on this topic later, regarding our celebrated American artist.
Stuart was only 29 at the time of this painting.


emikk said...

'snuff said!

denese said...

Very interesting quest you're on. I am afraid that the family portrait that hangs above our bed is of Swedish immigrants that lived a very middle class life in Rosburg, Washington. There are no notable paintings here.

Lucky you: Californian. On my dad's side I am an XxX generation Oregonian, now removed to Louisiana.

Site Meter