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Unitown wttii Ihto Vctome 









Natiinial GatUry 









'A H 1 rn- I. n 


AH rigiit Ttttrwd 

mated la Oraa Briulit 



\HE aim of this book is to g^re a con- 
' dse account of Sir Joshua's career, as 
I recorded in his numerous Mographies 
and in the series of his works, and to 
I express opinions on his art and writings. 
' If my estimate of his character is found 
to differ in essential points from that usually accepted, I 
can only say that it has been formed after a very careful 
weighing of the evidence. It is my conviction that from 
the first it has been the custom to r^ard Reynolds 
through an atmosphere of idealisation created byenthu^asm 
for his art. If this monograph possesses any originality, 
it is that I have endeavoured to paint the great artist as 
a conMstent human being, even although the result may 
be to set him on a plane somewhat difirent from that 
chosen by some previous writers. 

I have to express my warmest thanks to those pro- 
prietors of Sir Joshua's pictures who have given fadlities 
for thor reproduction. 




L 1733-1753 I 

II. 1753-1768 34 

III. i768-i;;69 59 

IV. 1769-1773 78 

V. 1773-1778 100 

VI. 177S-1783 117 

vn. 1784-1799 ist 

VIIL Sn JosRDA's CnuucTBK A8 A Kan . - ... 185 

IX. Thb Abt or Rbtmolos igi 


Ihdsz art 





Tbo Age of Innocence 
Mrs. Braddyl . 
Admiral Keppel 
The HlsMS Horoeck . 
Tlte Stnwbetiy Girl . 
Portrait of a. Lady . 
The In&nt Johnson . 
lira. Ablngttm as Roialana 
Angels' Heada . 
Portraita of two Gentlemei) 
NeUto O'Brien . 

. NatfOHtU GailMy 

. WaOaeeGatUry 

. LUmd Pkillipi . 

. S»twuU Portrait GiMtry . 

. Sir Hmry Bunbitry, Bart. 

. Watlaa Galkry 

. {Vnlmmn) 

. Tht Uarjiutt ^ LtmtdowM 

. DiAttfFife . 

, NoHomU GatUty 

. hariCarytfort. 


Sr Joehna Reynolds . . Evrl of Cnmt . 

UiB. M^ilck .... Oi^ord Uniotrrify GaUery 

Edmund Bnrke . . . tin. Kay Mvt Miu Drummond 

Penelope Boothby ("Ttn Mob 

Cap") ltn.Tkwaita . 

Lady Maiy O'Brien ... 

Lady Caroline Price . . . Sir JtMta Wtmktr, Bart. 

Lavinia, Coonteae fencer , Earl Spotctr, K.G. . 
Lavinia, Conntess Spencer, with 

her son, Vieconnt Altborp . ,i » - ■ < 

Hon. Ann Bingham ... „ » > . 

A^sooont Althorp .> » . . 

ix b 



Hon. LavlnU Blagfaam, after- 
wards Couatess Spencei 

Visconnt Altborp 

William Robert, Second Dnke 
ofL^nster .... 

White, the Pavioar, with a 

The DncheBS of Devoneliite 

Ladies Decorating a Term of 

Study from White the Paviour . 

Lady CodcbniQ and her Cbll- 
dren . . . ' . 

Sit Joshua Reynolds, P.R.A. . 

Lady Bampfylde 

Master Ccewe .... 

The Viscountess Crosble . 

Uaster Bunbury 

The Ladies Waldegrave . 

Charles James Fox . 

Dr. Jobosoa .... 

Nymph (" Venus") and Piping 

Duchess of Devonshire and her 
Danghter .... 

Mrs. William Hope , 

Emma and Elizabeth- Crewe 

Sir Joshua Reynolds . . . 

Harchioneas of Tavistock . . 

Kitty Fisher . . . . 

Nelly O'Brien .... 

Lady Sarah Bonbory Sacrificing 
to the Graces .... 

Laurence Sterne 

Portraits of two Gentlemen 

Mrs. Hardinge .... 

The Duke and Duchess of 
Hamilton .... 

The Marquess of Bath, K.G. . 

Earl SPtmtr, K.G. 

EarlofCrtme . 
Earl Spenctr, K.G. 

Natimtii GaUtry 
Earl <if Crtme . 

Alfrti Btit, Eiq. 

The Royal Academy 

A^ed de Rothschild, 

EarlofCnw . 

Sir Charla Ttnnaiil, 

Sir Henry Bunbury 

Mrt. Thvaitet . 

Earl of Leicester, K.G. 

Mrs. Kay and Miss Drummond 

Sir CiOhlmt QuUter, Bart., M.P. 

Dili* of Devonshire, K.G. 



Earl of Crewe . 

Mrs. Kay and Miss Drummond, 

L. Raphael, Esq. 

Earl of Crewe . 

WaOace CoUtclion . 

Sir Henry Bttnbnry, Bart. 
Marqii*u of Lrnnsiowne, K.G. 
National Gallery 
Marquess of CUmrikarde . 

The Lord Iveagh, K.P. . 
National Portrait Galltty . 


Dtar Knight of Pfymfltm teach me how 
To tufftr with unclouded brow 

And smile tertne at thint. 
The jest uncouth and truth sever*; 
ZJke thee to iuru my dea/ett ear, 

And calmly drini my wine. 

Thou io^st not only thill isgaiwd. 
But gutius too may be attained 

By ttudiovt invitation ; 
Thy temper mild, fl^ genius fine, 
rU ttudy till I make them mine 

By oOTUfaiit meditation. 

DsAN Baknard. 

Of Remolds all good should be tatd, and no harm, 
Though the heart is too frigid, the pencil too tearm; 
Yet each fault from his converse we still mutt disclaim. 
At his temper 'tit peaceful, and pure at his fame. 
Nothing in it o'erjlowt, nothing ever is wanting; 
It nor chillt lihe hit kindnett, nor glows like his painting, 
WhenJt^Hton by tlrength overpowers our mind. 
When Montagu daixUs, and Burke strikes us bUnd, 
To Reynoldt well pleased for reli^ we must run, 
tt^oice in his shadow, and shrink from the sun. 

Mrs. Thkai^ 

Here Reynolds m laid, and, to tell you my mind. 

He hat not left a wtter or better behind. 

His pencil was striking, resiiflest, and grand; 

His manners were gentle, complying, and bland ; 

Smi bom to improve us in every Part, 

His pencil our faces, kis marmert our heart. 

To coxcombs avtru, yet most civilly steering ; 

When tk^ judged without skill he was stiil hard of hearing; 

When thty talked of their Raphaels, Correggios, and stuff. 

He shifted hit trumpet, and only look sn^ff. 

By flattery unspoiled. . . . 






^IR JOSHUA REYNOLDS was born at 
Plympton Eail, in DevonsMre, on the 
6lh of July, 1723. His father, the Rev. 
Samuel Reynolds, was the Master of 
Plympton Grammar School, an institu- 
tion founded in the last years of the 
Commonwealth by the famous and long-lived Sergeant 
Maynard, who may, in one important particular, be 
considered a prototype of Sir Joshua himself. Samuel 
Reynolds was a scholar of a kind by no means rare in 
pre-railway days. He was educated at Oxford, where 
he matriculated at Exeter CoU^ in 1698. He after- 
wards became a scholar of Corpus, froni which Collc^ 
he took his B.A. degree in 1702 ; white in 1705 he was 
elected Chaplain-fellow — Socius perpetuus sacerdotalU — 
of Balliol. He was, we are told with perhaps a alight 
touch of exa^eration, as guileless and ignorant of the 
world as a child, and so absent-minded that he was likened 
by his friends to Fielding's "Parson Adams." The few 
letters and anecdotes which have come down to us all 
show him in the same light, as a Idndly, simple-hearted 
man, with very good bnuns nevertheless. His wife was 
one Theophila Potter, daughter of a parson and another 
Theophila, nie Baker. The history of this latter couple 



is somewhat of 3 tragedy. They married ^'inst the 
will of the lady's father, the Rev. Thomas Baker, who 
held a living at South Moulton, and had woa distinction 
as a mathematician. Mr. Baker never forgave his daughter, 
and forgot her in his will ; her husband died after a few 
years of marriage, when, says tradition, she literally cned 
her eyes out^ and then crept after him into the grave. 
The younger Theophila was almost a child when she be- 
came the wife of Samuel Reynolds. Nothing is known 
of her beyond a few incidental mentions in letters, which 
seem to indicate that she was a woman of some ability.* 
From Sir Joshua himself we derive scarcely any knowledge 
of his &mily. He was one of those people who do not 
occupy themselves much with the absent, although affec- 
tionate to those about them. We have therefore to depend 
for nearly all our information upon anecdotes collected by 
his admirers after he had become famous. From such 
evidence it is that we know the home at Plympton to 
have been happy, and the life of Sir Joshua to have begun 
with the placidity which marked it to the end. His 
father's means were not small for his day and station. 
He is s^d to have had a stipend of ;£i30 per annum and 
a free house, which would go as far, perhaps, as j£5oo a 
year would now. His family, indeed, was large. Accounts 
differ as to the exact number of children with which his 
union with Theophila was blessed : Northcote says eleven ; 
Cotton " ten or eleven," but gives a list of eleven ; while 
another authority makes it twelve. But all accounts agree 
that the number had been reduced to six during the 
father's lifetime, and there is no reason to suppose that 
the modest amMdons with which these six began life were 
ever thwarted for want of means. Only three were sons ; one 
became a lieutenant in the navy, the second an iron-monger 
* tiCtlk and Taylor. 



in Exeter, the third stepped practically withont a struggle 
into the front rank of the most hazardous of all professions. 

According to one authority, Samuel Reynolds dabbled 
in astrology, and used to spend '* many hours on the top 
of the old castle at Flympton studying the stars." He 
amused himself— let us say — with casting nativities, and 
on one occasion lit upon the starding discovery that the 
tife of a newly-born child was menaced by a great danger 
in its fifth year. The child, a girl, was guarded with the 
greatest solicitude, and as the fateful hour approached 
was not even allowed to leave the house. But the ^ars 
were inexorable. When the foretold date arrived, the 
little girl — another Theopbila — was dropped out of an up- 
stairs window from the arms of a careless nurse, and 
killed. This latter part of the story is corroborated by 
Northcote. Whether true or not, these astrological asper- 
uons are consistent with what we know of the painter's 
father. We may assert, without much diffidence, that bis 
children spent a happy youth, with parents who exerdsed 
the Idnd of supervision wluch means leadership rather thui 
control, and that the worst reproach they could have 
brought agunst Samuel Reynolds was for a certain slack- 
ness in stirring up their youthful ambitions. 

The blame cast upon him by one at least of Sir Joshua's 
biographers for neglecting his son's education, does not 
seem to have been deserved. Reynolds had little oppor- 
tunity for self'Culture after his career in art had once 
b^un. And yet he was, at least, a fair Latin scholar ; he 
could write his own language agreeably, and \nth some 
approach to correctness ; and the whole tenour of his inter- 
course in af^r years with the most brilliant men of his 
time, goes to show that he met them as an equal in matters 
of the intellect. Various stories are told by his bit^raphers 
to illustrate his father's aspect towards the nascent artistic 



feeling. Undo* a drawing m perspective, still extant, of 
a wall pierced by a window, made on the back of a Latin 
exerdse, Samuel Reynolds has written, " This is drawn by 
Joshua in school out of pure idleness." But it gradually 
dawned upon the good dominie that pure idleness was an 
insufficient explanation, and to a later drawing, in which, 
mth the help of the "Jesuit's Perspective," Joshua 
wrestled successfully with the difficulties of the colonnade, 
or cloister, on which Plympton school-house was supported, 
he appended this note : " Now this exempUfies what the 
author of the ' Per^>ective * asserts in his preface, that, 
by observing the rules laid down in this book, a man may 
do wonders ; f<x this is wonderful" His tolerance, too, 
of " art " is shown in the leave granted to Joshua and his 
usters to draw with burnt sticks on the whitewashed 
passages of the house. On the whole, it is reasonable to 
conclude that Samuel Reynolds gave his children such an 
education as befitted his class and means ; it is cerbun that 
he kept an open mind as to their bestowal in life, and did 
not fidl into the common parental error of fixing on a hole 
before he knew the shape of the peg. 

It was not until Joshua was seventeen that his dthex 
todc steps to find him a profesuon. He was then ofiered 
his choice between art and medicine, between becoming a 
painter or a country apothecary. Characteristically enough, 
he said he would rather follow medicine than become an 
" ordinary " painter, but that his choice would be reversed 
if his feet could be set upon a path which might lead to 
excellence. To us the phrase " ordinary punter " seems a 
strange one to use. We are accustomed to think of punting 
in either a very humble or a very high portion, as devoted 
either to the protection of wood and iron, or to the pro- 
duction of pictures which may turn out candidates for 
immortality. But in the days of Reynolds, and for a 


Eakl of Ckbwb 




century aftermu'ds, there was an intermediate industry^ 
busied with the countless demands now fulfilled by the 
processes depending on the camera. Even in 1740 Ply- 
mouth could, no doubt, afFord such an education as one 
of these " ordinary painters '* would require. But Joshua's 
ambitions would by no means be satisfied with thaL He 
would go to London and be trained under the best master 
to be found, or he would be content with the status of a 
coiutry leech. His ideas had been enlarged, we are told, 
by reading the works of Jonathan Richardson, a writer and 
punter whose doings with pen and brush are even now 
too little esteemed. A horizon which Joshua's unas> 
sbted vision could never have discovered from Ptympton 
was opened to him by Richardson, and from the moment 
that the book fdl into his hands his hncy was no doubt at 
work on the possibilities of an artist in the great world 
outside. His father, more impressed, probably, by the 
trompe Coil qualities of his "perspectives" than by his 
kindling enthuuasm, does not seem to have been difficult 
to persuade. He took measures to have the boy ^pren- 
ticed to the most successful portnut punter of the moment, 
Thomas Hudson. The choice of Hudson, when Hogarth 
was in his prime, requires, perhaps, a word of justification. 
It was mainly due, no doubt, to the mere fact that 
Hudson was a Devon man and introduction therefore 
easy, but we must not fo^t that Joshua had already shown 
a real capacity for portr^ture. While still scarcely in his 
teens he had contrived, under great difficulties, to fx-oduce 
a portrait of a certun Rev. Thomas Smart, a tutor tn the 
Edgciunbe family. It was panted on an old sail, with 
ship's paint, and is still in existence. Rough as it is, it 
has character and vitality. Probably, too, it was like 
the sitter, and so we need feel no surprise that its hint of 
a vocation was preferred to that given by the more 



** terrific subjects " which the boy used to extract from the 
Book of Emblems of Jacob Cats, brought from Holland hj 
his great^randmotber, a Dutchwoman. 

Thomas Hudson used to pay periodical vi^ts to 
Bideford. In that town Samuel Reynolds had a friend, 
an attorney called CutcUff«. Leslie and Taylor print a 
series of letters from Reynolds to CutcUfie, from which it 
appears that through the latter's good offices, Hudson and 
young Joshua were brought tc^ether. In the end the 
painter agreed to take the lad as his i^>prentice for four 
years in consideration of a premium of ^^ito. Joshtu 
arrived in London on the 13th October, 1740, and pending 
the return of Hudson from '* the Bath," took up his abode 
with his own uncle, the Rev. John Reynolds, who, by the 
way, was a fellow of Eton, The whole affiur, judg^g by 
the letters printed by Leslie and Taylor, was conducted 
with a good feeling on the part of Cutclifie and Hudson, 
and with a amplidty of gratitude on the side of Reynolds, 
senior, which is full of charm. In a letter dated 26th 
October, 1 740, the latter says to Cutdifle : ** You have not 
only almost brought it about, but as if Providence had 
breathed upon what you have done, everything hitherto 
has jumped out in a strange, uneiqiected manner to a 
miracle. Nor can I see that if Mr. Treby* had many 
children, an apprendceship under such a master would 
have been below some one of his sons. As if a piece of 
good fortune had already actually be&llen my ^ily, it 
seems to me I see the good eflfects of it already in scHoe 
persons* behaviour. This is my letter of thanks to you 
for what you have done .... (Joshua) has behaved him- 
self mighty well in this afikir, and done lus duty on his 
part, which gives me much more concem in his behalf 
than I should otherwise have had. Sec." As for the 

• " Tie great man of Plympton," lay Leilie ind Taylor. 



premium of j^i20 : "I have," says Samuel Reynolds m a 
letter to Cutdiffe at the end of 1740, " in a manner one 
half of the money already provided, if it please God I live 
so [ong as to the end of these four years " ; the other ;^6o 
was advanced by his eldest married daughter, Mary 
Palmer, until Joshua himself should be able to repay it 

Fornearlytwoyears Joshua worked under Hudson. In 
a letter to Cutclific, dated 3rd August, 1742, his father 
writes : *' As for Joshua, nobody, by his letter to me, was 
ever better pleased in lus employment, in his master, in 
everything — * While I am doing this I am the hap^Hcst 
creature alive ' is lus expression. How he goes on ('tis 
[dun he tlunks he goes on very well) you'll be better able 
to inform me. I do not forget to whom I owe all this 
happiness, and I hope he will not ^ther." Besides the 
ordinary services which it was usual for an apprentice 
to render to a master, Joshua worked, by Hudson's 
advice, at copying such " old masters " as he could reach. 
Among these were certain drawings by Guercino, which 
be is said to have reproduced with such skill that most 
of his copies afterwards passed as originals into the cabinets 
of collectors, and no doubt still so figure in many s 
modern museum. 

The tnographers of Reynolds have been unjust to his 
first master. They have spoken of his art with a contempt 
which it scarcely deserves, and have assumed that his 
teaching could have had no value for his pupil. The fact 
is that Hudson, in common with every English painter of 
the last century, except perhaps Hogarth, Gainsborough, 
and Sir Joshua himself, has suffisred in reputation through 
the general ignorance of his work, and the acceptance of 
the slapdash generalisations about English painting which 
used to- be indulged in by foreign critics. Another thing 
which has robbed him of his proper place, is the perplexity 



into which any one who tries to take him a little seriously 
is thrown by his promiscuous use of drapery men. 
Reynolds, in afiter years, was to depend on such aides as 
much as any English painter has ever done ; but he con- 
trived to imbue them mth his own spirit, so that, as a 
rule, we find no startling dislocation between their work 
and his own. It was otherwise with his master. Accord- 
ing to an anecdote, to which we shall have presently to 
recur, Hudson was in the habit of punting a head upon a 
canvas, and then sending it off to the drapery man to be 
provided with a body and clothes. The result of such 
proceedings was what might have been expected. We find 
an extraordinary diversity, in kind as well as in, quality, 
between one portrait and another. The National Gallery has 
a three-quarter length of Samuel Scott, the marine pwnter, 
which is at least as good as an early Reynolds. It is well 
arranged, well drawn, pleasant in colour, and quite free 
from hardness. On the other hand, I could point to many 
portnuts which are cold and dry, and metallic in their 
texture. Of these, a three-quarter length of Lady 
Mountrath, in the Irish National Gallery, is a very favour- 
able example. Again, there is a whole series of portraits 
by Hudson which, though hard in texture and defident in 
movement, show a de^re for elegance in the pose, and for 
such prettinesses as can be won by a j udidous use of ribbons, 
flowers, and so on. Many of these are ascribed to Allan 
Ramsay, ^om whose authentic works they are to be easily 
distinguished by their more positive colour and compara- 
tive heaviness of hand. Hudson's drawings, which are 
not very scarce, although they usually pass under other 
names, seem to show that of the three classes here 
indicated, the third is that in which his own hand is chiefly 
to be recognised. Assunung that I am right in this, we 
may safely reject a large number of the outrageously stifi; 



dry, and lU-drawn portraits to which his name has been 
so glibly attached during the last century or so. Judging 
by the pictures which can be safely identified as his, on 
the strength of dramngs, contemporary engravings, and 
other trustworthy evidence, Hudson was a fair draughts- 
man — as draughtsmen go in this country — a sound and 
skilfiil punter, and, as a rule, an inoffensive colourist. As 
a master, he was to Reynolds what Hayman was to Guns- 
borough. He brought, indeed, no inspiration to his pupil, 
but he started him on the right path as a technical painter, 
putting into his hands an instrument which he could after- 
wards use to realise hisown more ambitious lesthetic dreams.* 

After some twenty-two months in statu pupiUari^ 
Reynolds left his master's house, and his indentures were 
cancelled. Various explanations have been given of this 
truncation of his apprenticeship. Most, if not all, of the 
writers on Sir Joshua have accepted the tradition that it 
was a case of Titian and Tmtoretto over again ; and yet 
all the real evidence on the point goes to negative any 
such idea. Farington, indeed, gives a circumstantial 
account of the quarrel — for so he makes it — but his 
statement seems inconsistent with what we know of the 
subsequent relations of the parties. His story is that 
Hudson became alarmed at the rapid progress of his 
scholar, and determined to rid himself of one who might 
become a dangerous rival. One day he told him to take 
a canvas, on which the head had been painted, to Van 
Haaken, the drapery man, to be provided with a body. 
The evening was vet, and Joshua put ofF obedience until 
the following morning. At breakfast Hudson asked him 

* Many pictures Hcribed to Hudson In English conntiy honsei and 
elMwhere are the work of Jeremiah DaTison, a pnpil of Ldy, who had 
a large practice in London and Edinburgh in the first hslf of the 
eighteenth century. Important signed pictures by him are at Dal- 
mahoy, Midlothian, and at DriTton Park, Northamptonshire. 



why the canvas had not been taken ; Joshua pleaded the 
run. " You have not obeyed my orders," said Hudson, 
" and you ^all not stay in my house." Reynolds asked 
for delay, in order to write explanations to his &ther, who 
might otherwise misunderstand the incident. But Hudson 
would not listen to reason, and Joshua had to take him- 
self off the same day to his uncle's chambers in the 
Temple. It seems clear that if this were the whole truth 
of the matter, the relations between Hudson and the 
Reynolds family must have become strained for a time, even 
if they did not remain so permanently. But nothing of the 
sort occurred. On the 19th of August, 1743, that iswithin 
a few days of the rupture, we find Reynolds senior writing 
to his friend Cutdiffe : " As to Jo^ua's afiair, he will 
give you a full account of it when he wuts upon you, as 
he de»gns to do, and will be gtad to present you with 
yotu* picture, who have been so good a benefactor to him. 
... I have not meddled with Joshua's affairs hitherto, 
any otherwise than by writing a letter to Joshua, which 
never came to hand, and which I intended as an answer 
both to his letter and to his maker's. This resolution of 
mine I shall persevere in, not to meddle in it ; if I had I 
should have taken wrong Steps. I shall only say there 
is no controversy I was ever let into wherein I was so little 
offended with Mthcr parfy. In the meantime, I bless God 
and Mr. Hudson, and you, for the extreme success that 
has attended Joshua hitherto." It was the same with 
Joshua himself. He and his master remained good 
friends, even in those after years when the latter might 
have been excused for some little chagrin and jealousy. 
From the very guarded letter just quoted we may, 
perhaps, infer that Hudson's account of the difference 
did not agree with the version given by his pupil, and 
that the elder Reynolds declined to commit himself to a 


Oxford Univeb'htv Galleky 




deoMon between the two. Further than that we cannot 
see our way, and must come to the (inclusion that the 
real cause of Joshua's premature emancipation remains 
unknown. Judging by results, it took place exactly at 
the right time. He had learnt all that Hudson had to 
teach, and was induced to test its value at an age when 
neither future nor success could do much harm. He 
returned at once to Devonshire, and accepted all the orders 
for portraits which came in his way. His industry must 
have been great In a letter dated 3rd of January, 1744, 
only five months after the rupture with Hudson, his 
Ather tells Cutdiffe that he has already painted twenty 
portraits — " among them that of the greatest man in the 
place, the Commissioner of the Dockyard " — and that ten 
more are awuting commencement. 

How long he stayed in Devonshire on this occauon we 
have no means of finding out ; but we know that before 
the end of the year he was agun in London. Leslie and 
Taylor print quotations fi-om his father's letters, which 
show that early in December Joshua had already been 
introduced by his old master, Hudson, to " a club com- 
posed of the most famous men in their profession," a club 
idendcal, suggests Tom Taylor, with that described in 
Smith's " NoUekens " (vol. ii. p. 209), which met at 
Slaughter's Coffee House, in St. Martin's Lane. Many 
of the pictures dating feim this first sojourn in his native 
place can still be traced. They are essentially Hudsonian, 
and go ^ to prove that it was not until his second visit 
to Plymouth that he came under the influence which was 
to make the first important change in his practice, and was 
to be the cause at once of much excellence and no little 
disaster to his works. To this p(»nt we must return pre- 
sently. During the two years or more which Reynolds 
^nC in London, between the autumn of 1744 and that 



of 1746, the influence of Hudson rapidly waned. The 
pupil and his former master were excellent friends ; of 
that there is abundant evidence ; but familiarity with a 
wider circle of artists, lus own gromng facility both of hand 
and mind, and a more intimate acquuntance, no doubt, 
with the great works of the past, gave a new freedom to 
his conceptions and less timidity to his brush. Pictures 
pwited in 1745 and 1746 show that he was seeking for 
new forms of expression. They betray impatience with 
the old conventions, and leave us in no doubt that for 
every fresh sitter who appeared in his studio he endea- 
voured to invent a new formula, a new esthetic equivalent. 
The originative impulse, the determination to repeat 
himself as tittle as was consistent with sincerity, by which 
Reynolds stands apart from all other portrait-painters of 
the agbteenth century, dates from these first two years of 
his independent activity in London, from a time when he 
was still under twenty-three years of age. 

Towards the end of 1 746, Samuel Reynolds was seized 
by his last illness, which ended in his death on Christmas 
Day. His son Joshua was summoned home to Plympton, 
whence, after the funeral, he moved to Plymouth Dock — 
now Devonport — ^where he set up house-keeping with hu 
two unmarried sisters. Here he remained about three 
years, painting such portraits as came in his way, but on 
the whole taking life easily, at least for a time. Malone 
— who seems, however, to be here a little mixed in his 
chronology — says that when Reynolds recalled this period 
of his life, *' he always spoke of it as so much time thrown 
away, so ^ as related to a knowledge of the world and 
of mankind, of which he ever afterwards lamented the 
loss." He goes on to say that " after some httle dissipa- 
tion " Reynolds sat down seriously to the study and practice 



of hia art. Leslie and Taylor also speak of the first part 
of this second stay in Deronshire as a period during which 
he neglected his easel for the only time in his life. How- 
ever that may be, it was certunly at this time that he came 
under an influence which was to have a profound effect on 
his future practice. 

Among the many followers of Van Dyck was a certain 
William Gandy.* He was a man of narrow ambitions, 
who was content during most of his Hfe to work for one 
or two patrons, and to remain obscure to the world at 
large. The Duke of Ormonde was his principal employer, 
and in Ireland only are his works now to be found. They 
are dry and tame, and by no means support the assertion 
that his pictures were sometimes confined with those of 
Van Dyck. He had a son, however, of greater powers 
than Us own, who setded in Devonshire, and came to 
be known as Gandy of Exeter. His productions are 
probably not rare, for he had a vt^e in his own neigh- 
bourhood, and must have painted many portruts in 
a year to make a living at the prices then ruling in the 
provinces. Most of his works no doubt pass under 
other names, or as " unknown." In Exeter itself a few 
may be seen in the College Hall, in the Ho3|Mtal, and in 
the Poor-house. In a general way they are broad in 
treatment, sombre and monotonous in colour, richer in 
texture than was usual at the time, and more forcible in 
chiaroscuro. They have affinities on the one hand ^th 
Rembrandt, on the other with Opie. All Sir Joshua's 
tuc^aphers declare that he was much affixted by Gandy's 
example, and there can be no doubt that a young man with 
such an open mind as we know young Reynolds to have 
possessed, would be much attracted, not perhaps so 

* Born 1619. Hii Km, Ouxdy of Exeter, died about 1730. The 
exact date it uncertain. 




much by Gaudy's actual work, as by the pronuse fus 
methods held out to a bold disciple. It is cert^n that 
during the period of rather more than two years which 
elapsed between his father's death and his own final de- 
parture from his native county, he punted many pictures 
in which Hudson's dry methods and formal arrangements 
are abandon»l for a style which suggests the study of 
Rembrandt. One of the best of these is his own por- 
trait, in the National Portrait Gallery, in which he is 
represented at work, his hand shading his eyes as he 
takes a look at the model. I must leave all detuled dis- 
cussion of his pictures and the development of his art to 
fiiture chapters, but may here point out that Reyn<rfd8 
could have had little knowledge of Rembrandt at this 
stage in his career. The tM-oader conception, the more 
forcible light and shade, and the more solid texture, which 
now begin to mark lus work, must have been chiefly due 
to the example of Gandy. We are told that one of die 
latter's axioms was that " a |Hcture ought to have a rich- 
ness in its texture, as if the colours had been composed of 
cream or cheese, and the reverse of a hard and husky or 
dry maimer." In the light of his after productions, we 
can imagine what an effect such a precept would have on 
our young painter's mind. It would seem like taking 
down the shutter from a window opening upon an infinite 
landscape, and was probably the first hint he ever received 
that the texture of punt could in itself be made repressive 
and pleasure-giving. That he was afterwards so apt to 
out-Gandy Gandy, and to call in all kinds of strange 
substances to produce the effect of " cream or cheese," 
is, of course, to be lamented ; but for that the Exeter 
artist is not responsible. He at least deserves the credit 
of havii^ started a great painter on the road which led to 
masterpieces not a few. 




For some tvo years and a half Reynolds kept house at 
Hymouth Dock Trith Ms ustets, and cultivated his friend- 
ship with the Edgcumbes at Mount Edgcumbe, the Parkers 
at Saltnm, the Eliots at Port Eliot, and other West of 
EngLuid fiunilies, who were as usefiil as they were kind 
to him for the rest of his life. A ded^ve change in his 
career was brought about by an acquaintanceship which 
began at Mount Edgcumbe. In the first months of 1749 
the young sulor who was afterwards to be so famous and 
to lead to so much excitement in Sir Joshua's own set as 
Admiral Keppel, was appointed to the command in the 
Mediterranean, and entrusted with a mission to the corsur 
States on the North African Coast. At that time Keppel 
was littie more than a boy. He had not yet completed 
his twenty-fourth year, and so was even junior to Reynolds. 
He sailed from Spithead on the 25th of April, but a day 
<x two later was obliged to put in to Plymouth for repairs. 
Here he was introduced to the young painter by Lord 
Edgcumbe, and the two found themselves so sympathetic 
that the Commodore ofiered to take the artist with him 
totheSouth. Suchanopportunitywasnottobe neglected. 
Reynolds accepted the invitation with joy, and on the 1 ith 
of May H.M.S. Centurion weighed anchor for Lisbon, 
irith the two very new but already very close friends on 

In the Mediterranean Keppel went about his business, 
bong sometimes accompanied by Reynolds, and sometimes 
not. The punter stayed at Gibraltar while Keppel 
crossed over to Tetuan, to harry the Moorish Governor 
on account of his ill-treatment of the British Consul and 
some English prisoners ; on the other hand, he went with 
him to Algiers, and was present at the famous interview 
when the Dey tlireatened the Commodore with the bow- 
string, and the Commodore refdied with a menace which 



was to be fulfilled sixty years later by Pellew. Negotiat- 
ing with the Dey was a very long buuness, and while the 
palavers were going on, Reynolds amused himself by 
ri»ting the Mediterranean Islands. In August he was at 
Fort Mahon, as the guest of General Blakeney, the 
Governor, and there he punted most of the officers of the 
garrison. Minorca was to mark him for life, for while 
prowhng about on horseback he met with the accident 
which dnfigured his upper lip. His horse fell with him 
down some steep declivity, dmng dam;^e the traces of 
which are to be seen in most of the later portraits.* 

During his entertainment by K^pel, Reynolds viuted 
Lisbon and Cadiz, as well as the Moorish ports. At both 
of those places he was present at what he calls " Bull feasts," 
and seems to have had no premonition of our modern 
horror of such brutal sports. In Lisbon, of course, the 
display would be comparatively mild, and the incongruity 
of coupling it with the Corpus ChrisH procession would 
not seem great ; but in Cadiz he would have to face the 
real Spanish article, and yet he appears to have felt no 
need for moralising. Perhaps he had seen buII-baiting 
at home. All this we know from a curious letter to Lord 
Edgcumbe, quoted by Leslie and Taylor, in which, among 
much of the formal humility then de rigueur from an artist 
to an3rthing in the shape of a patron, we find ^ns of 
genuine gratitude to Lord Edgcumbe for the introduction 

* Wm. Carpenter, keeper of tke Prints in the British Mnsenm, teenw 
to hsTc persuaded Leilie that Re}'iK>lds* earlj portrait of Himielf now in 
the National Portrait Gallery moit have been painted after hit MiiUMra 
accident, on account of the peculiar form of the upper lip. I think he 
was mistaken. The cnrionity ritnuiii lip seems to have been natural ; 
in later portraits there is a decided scar. In this picture Reynolds looks 
too }^ung for twenty-six, and the conception belongs to the time when 
he was influenced by Gandy, rather than to the yean when he was 
inrrounded by the Italian masters. 



. Kay ani> Mtss Djiumm 




to Keppel, and to Kqipel for his liberal and delicate hos- 
pitality. The letter is undated, but it must have been 
written shortly after Reynolds had left the CenturioH. 
This he did in the late summer of 1749, in the first weeka 
of his twenty-seventh year. He landed at Leghorn and 
made his way straight to Rome. " I am at last in Rome," 
he writes to Lord Edgcumbe, " having seen many places 
and sights which I never thought of seeing. I have been 
at Lisbon, Cadiz, Gibraltar, Algiers and Mahon." This 
seems to show conclusively that he was not even tempted 
to step aside to Florence, but made his way as speedily 
as he could to what was then called the capital of art. 

In the middle of the eighteenth century Rome was at 
its apt^ee as a place of pilgrimage. Travellers of every 
kind^-except, indeed, the commercial variety — made it 
their goal. Before reaching it they were on their way out ; 
after leaving it they were on thrir way home, even when 
the route Jay through Constantinople or '* Grand Cairo." 
All the more ambitious artists of Europe made a p<Hnt of 
seeing it, some for the sake of what it could teach, others, 
like Hudson, for the mere purpose of being aUe to say 
they had been there. As for travelling dilettante with 
money in their pockets, the city was full of them, and a 
man like Reynolds, with good introductions and a pleasant 
personality, could make enough iriends in a winter to last 
him a lifetime. From what we know of his habits and 
character, we cannot doubt that socially he made the best 
pos^ble use of his two years in the Eternal City, and that 
many connections of his after life there had their origin. 
Some curious relics of this side of his activity have come 
down to us in a set of what he called " caricaturas." These 
are groups of more or less grotesque portruts of English 
and other travellers, in which personal peculiarities and 



defects are exaggerated in a fa^ioa recalling the charges 
of Leonardo da Vincu Seven of these arc still in existence, 
although Sir Joshua is sjud to have been so ashamed of 
them in after years that he used to offisr in exchange any 
pcture in his studio thar owners chose to select. Four 
have been presented to the National Gallery of Ireland by 
the Countess of Milltown. These include the most im- 
portant of the whole series, the fiunous burlesque on 
Raphael's " School of Athens." Here, on a canvas some 
50 inches by 40, Reynolds has pwnted seventy-two por- 
traits of his friends in Rome and one of himself, eking out 
the composition with a few " idea figures," as he calls 
them. The background is nmilar to that of the fresco, 
and the disposidon of the figures follows the same model 
mth tolerable fidelity. Technically, the picture — Uke the 
rest of the series — is better than most of his later works. 
It is painted solidly, and with entire umplicity, so much so 
that at the first glance one is tempted to cry, " That's not 
a Sir Joshua : it is too fresh ; its condidon is too perfect." 
It shows, in fiu:t, no »gn of change. It is without cracks, 
and without darkening anywhere. It has been painted 
rapidly, freely, and at once. Solicitude is not always good 
for a picture. Here Reynolds felt none, and produced an 
excellent bit of punting ; that is about all, however, that 
can be s^d for it. The fiin is of a very ob^ous kind : 
exaggerated noses, calves, stomachs, and so on ; reminding 
one not of the late lamented Pellegrini, but of certun 
other cartoonists who have attempted to draw his 

' TLe perioiu represented la thii bnileiqae >re : Mr. Henij (of 
Stnfiin, Kildaie), Mr. Leeson, junr.. Lord Brace, Mr. Muwell, Mr. 
]>eioii, (cnr, (afterwirdi Earl of Milltown), Mi. Barrett, Mr. Patch, 
Mr. VirepUe, Sir William Lowther, Dr. Erwin, Mr. Bagot, the Abbi 
dn Boil, Mr. Brettingham, Mr. Muifey, Mi. Sterling, Mr. Iremonger, 
Sii Matthew Feathentone, I<ord Charlemont, Mr. Fhelpi, Sir Thomai 



Reynolds painted his version of the Schoc^ of Athens 
in 1751, nearly two years after bis arrival in Rome. The 
use he had made of the intervening months, so far as his 
studies were concerned, has to be conjectured from the 
fragmentary memcH^nda in his pocket-books. One of 
these * contuns the following entry : 

** CopiM of pktnre* I made at Rome. 

*' In the Villa Medici :— 

** The Twe of the Sacrifice of Iphigenia. 

** Is the Conini Palace s~ 

"April 16, is the sftenoon, 1750, Anno Jnbilet. — Stndj' of an old 
man't head, leading, bf Rnbest. 

"April 17 to 19. — ^A portrait of Philip II., Sing of Spain, bj 

" April 20. — Rembrandt') portrait of himielf. 

"April 21 to 23. — St. Martino on honeback, giving the Devil, who 
appeared to him in the thape of a be^atmas, a part of hi) cloak.— 
Captain Blackqnier*) P. — An iM Beggannas. — My own pictnie,— 
Jacomo't picture. 

" Began Maj 30, finiihed Jnne 10, in the Church of Capochisi, St. 
Michael, hy Guido. — A foot from my own. 

"Jane 13. — The " Anrora" of Gnido, a iketch. 

« Jnne 15.— Went to Tivoli. 

■' Augnit 15. — Worked in the Vatican. I wa) let into the CapeUa 
Si>tina in the morning, and remained there the whole day, a great part 
oi which I )pent in walldng np and down it with great ielf>importance. 
Paning throagh, on my return, the roonu of RaSaele, they appeared of 
an inferior order," 

This entry contains all the direct evidence we have as 
to how Reynolds made use of the opportunities for im- 
proving his practice afforded by Rome. Taken blether 
with the numerous critical notes which fill the Italian 
pocket-books, it shows that his afiection, or at least his 
judgment, was divided, as, in &:t, it remained throughout 

Kennedy, and RcTnoIds himielf. The name) are taken from the pocket- 
book of 1751. 

' Now in the pouesiion of Mr. Reynolds Gwatldn. 



his life. His originality — hy which I mean his power of 
thinking independently — was not robust enough to enable 
lum to stand up against the public opinion of his day, and 
to declare, even to himself, that its ideab were ^se, and 
that the works in which they were unbodied lacked that 
quality of »ncerity without which art does not exist. He 
heard on every side the [Vaises of the Carracd, of Guide, 
of Guerdno, and the other facile punt-slingers of the 
seventeenth century, and he bowed to what seemed to hira 
to be authority. He blamed himself when he found that 
thdr " Magdalens " and " Ecce Homos," and ** Auroras " 
left him cold, and made attempts which are really pathetic, 
to reason himself into admiration and to justify the worid 
in its mistaken opinions. All through lus Italian note- 
books we find repeated the curious deure to bridge an 
unbridgable gulf which is suggestnl by his passage, in the 
^ring of 1750, from Rubens, Titian, and Rembrandt, to 
Guido. By this I do not mean to insinuate that a young 
painter can learn nothing from Guido. On the contrary, 
his best work has many admirable qualities from a technical 
standpcnnt ; the young artist who could punt such a 
heady for instance, as the *' Christ Crowned with Thorns," 
in the National Gallery, would at least be well equipped. 
But it was not for these technical qualities that Reynolds 
studied and admired the Bolognese. He professed to see 
in thor work an embodiment of the abstract principles of 
what he called the great style in art, and throughout his 
life he cudgelled his brun for arguments to justify the 

That Reynolds the artist was alive from the first to the 
charm of the tre~ and quattro-centisH is clear from the few 
notes devoted to them in the pocket-books. These notes 
are scanty indeed compared with the pages devoted to 
Baroccio, Salviati, Guercino, etc. ; but th^ are significant. 



WaUace Gallery 






and show that it vas not through a defident sympathy 
that he dwelt so little upon the early men, but through 
excessive respect for the ideas of his time. '*The old 
Gothic masters," he says, "as we call them, deserve the 
attention of the student much more than many later artists ; 
simplkitf and trutk bdng oftener found in the old masters 
which preceded the great age of painting, than it ever Tras 
in that age, and certainly much less unce.'* As a proof 
of the mixed nature of his adnuration at this time, I 
cannot do better than enumerate the {nctures of which 
Reynolds took particular note in the Grand Duke's col- 
lection at Florence, in the Palazzo Pitti. These were :— 

** Charlei I. and Henrietta Maria," by Van Dyck. 

"Lady in White Satiu," do. 

"The Viigm and Bambino," "St. John Biptitt," and one in 
aimouT, perhapt St. Gewge, with a little diUt in hit hand, by Coneggio, 
in Bi first wumtr. 

" Chriit with the font Evangeliitt," hj Fia Bartolommeo. 

" God the Father above, in unall, holding Chrin on the Crott," 
" Six Salnti," large ai life, beneath ; Andrea del Sarto. 

" Sahitation," by P. Veronese. 

"Cain and AbeC" by Titian. 

Third Room. 
"Two Aunmptiona of the Virgin," with the Twelve Aponles 
below. In one of them there ii a priest and a nun, besides the Apoitle*. 
" St. Mark the Evangelitt,** by Banolommeo, 

Sixth Room. 
" Madonna della Sednia,'* 1^ Ra£aele. 

" Holy Famify," viz., E^beth, Virgin Maiy, St. John Baptiit, 
and another, perhaps St. Catherine, by RaSaele. {Madtna tUl 

"The Yapa and C3iild, St. John, and St. Elizabeth," by Dei 

"Chriit, St. Petei, and St. John in the Clondi,** four nJnti 
beneath, by Annibale (fisrrdtn), 

" The Retnirection of a dead penon by a Saint," by Gnerdno ; a 
print by Bloemart. 



*• Holy Fanuly," by Rnbem ; a print by Boltwert. 
" Salutation," by Del Sarto. 
" Abraham and the Barning Bnih," by Batuno. 
Several others, but none coniiderable. 

" Man and Vcnuj," by Rnbeni. 
"Chariot" by Gnido. 
" Cleopatra with the Asp," by Gaido. 
••"nie Tribute Money," by Titian. 
"ConTcrrion of St. Panl," by Titian. 

."Elitha taken up to Heaven by Angela, a Bull, and a Lion," by 
Raffaele (fisin ^ EztKtl). 

**Hiitory of Jo»eph,*' by And, del Sarto. 

" Holy Famity," by P. Veroneae. 

Many fine Baasanot. 

" The Mntes dancing," by Julio Ronuno. 

" The Tree Destiniet," by M. Angelo. 

"Holy Fami^," in small, neatly finiihed, by An. Canacci. 

"Holy Family,'* by RaSaele {i Msdanna dil Gran Dko). 

Fourth Room. 

A copy, by Barocdo, of the bmons " Holy Family," by Correggio, 
It Parma. 

"A Deaoent from the Cion," by C^li. 

" St. Sebutiano," by Utiaa. 

"Maiy Magdalen," by Titian, with an immoue deal of hair, but 
painted to the atmoit perfection. 

" In a part not oaually shown, two large pictores by Rnbcni." 

Such is his selection from what was, at the time, the 
finest collection of fHctures in the world. It casts a strong 
light backwards on what he had been doing in Rome, 
and upon the line he had taken in steering between, or 
rather in combining, the lines of his heart and head. In 
attemptii^ to fuse into one the art which is passionate 
and the art wluch substitutes machinery for pasuon, he 
set out on a task he never abandoned to the end of lus 
life, in spite of the qualms it must often have given 



That Reynolds was naturally a first-rate critic, even to 
the extent of being able to antidpate the verdict of pos- 
terity, b proved by his various descriptions of lus own 
emotions in the presence of works of art. Unhappily he 
£uled to estimate these emotions at their true value. 
Instead of realising that they were better evidence in 
favour of the things he was looking at than the conclusions 
to which an imperfect reasoning process could bring him, 
he crushed them down, and set himself resolutely to exalt 
taste, skill, and obedience to arbitrary rules above the 
power to create. His first impulsive feelings in the 
Sistine Chapel and the Stanze of the Vatican, antidpated 
exactly what we now not only feel but confess, after 
another century of study and the more generous oppor< 
tunities of knowledge given by modem conditions. " I was 
let into the Capella Sistina in the morning, and remained 
there the whole day, a great part of which I spent in 
walking up and down it with great self-importance. 
Passing through on my return the rooms of Raffaele, they 
appeared of an inferior order." This entry in one of his 
ItaUan pocket-books would now be subscribed to by the 
great mass of cultivated opinion ; but Reynolds was 
perturbed by his sensations, and forty years after he had 
turned his back on Rome we still find him struggling 
laboriously to minimise a preference which was, in fact, a 
proof of his fine capadty for art. Vacillations of taste 
have always been the sceptic's opportunity. They seem 
to justify his denial that definite judgments are possible in 
artisric questions. It would be interesting to inquire how 
far these vacillations have been more apparent than real, 
and how far they have been due to causes similar to those 
which drove Sir Joshua, as I believe, into arguing against 
his own convictions. At all periods, even in the days of 
Perides, the world has been troubled with the false ideals 



forced upon it by those whom nature has endowed with an 
abnormal capadty to make the worse seem the better cause. 
The littirateurs who could find nothing more valuable to 
tell us of Apelles, Parrhasius, and Zeuxis, than the futile 
stories about lines, and grapes, and curtains, hare had a 
liberal progeny. I suspect that the true history of (pinion 
on these matters is that the real instinctive appreciations 
of humanity are sound ; but that civilised roan, (Ustrustii^ 
instincts for which he can formulate no cause, forces him- 
self into the acceptance of theories which seem to provide 
him with reasons for admiration, and relieve him of the 
humiliadon he feels at having to confess a strong prefer- 
ence without bang able to justify it in words. Complete 
knowledge, ag^n, takes him beyond this stage, and by 
explwiing why great art afibrds a pleasure nothing else 
can give, enables him to enjoy that pleasure without re* 
serve. In illustradon of this, I may quote a curious 
passage from the Palmer manuscripts, in which Reynolds 
allows one to see the process of crushing art under its 
machinery with unusual clearness : " Well-coloured |»c- 
tures," he says, " are in more esteem and sell for higher 
prices than in reason they appear to deserve, as colouring 
is an excellence Afitffow/fi/^fi/ A) be of a lower rank* than the 
qualiries of correctness, grace, and greatness of character. 
But in this instance, as in many others, the partial view c^ 
reason is corrected by the general practice of the world ; 
and among other reasons which may be brought forward 
for this conduct is the consideration, that colouring is an 
excellence which cannot be transferred by prints or draw- 
ings, and but very faintly by copies." 

Reynolds left Rome for Florence early in May, 1752. 
He travelled by easy stages, sleeping often on the way. 
Fc^gno, Assisi, Perugia, and Arezzo were among his 
• My italic*. 


Mrs. Thwaitiis 




halting fJaces. His note-books still bear witness to what 
I venture to call his pumped up preference for the shallow 
art of the seventeenth century. At Perugia and Arezzo 
he ignores Giotto, passes by Perugino with a note — ** An 
infinite number of his pnctures about Perugia" — and 
concentrates his praise upon Baroccio and — of all people in 
the world — Vasari I On his doings in Finance I need 
not dwell. The list of things he <* starred " in the Palazzo 
Pitti has already been quoted ; it gives a fur idea of what 
he thought himself obliged to feel in Santa Croce, Santa 
Maria Novella, and the other storehouses of art Tom 
Taylor, no doubt, is quite right in saying that many <^ 
the notes imply no particular admiration for the work* 
they deal with, but were made simply as technical memo- 
randa; for at this period of his life Sir Joshua was a 
consdentious self -educator. But, apart from this, his cort- 
veyed theory of what was to be looked at and prused if 
posnble, lies on the surface and cannot be mistaken. 

The Florentine note-book in the British Museum con- 
tains a draft of a letter which suggests that R^olds 
stayed longer in Florence than he originally intended. It 
is, moreover, very characteristic : " I remember," he says, 
** whenever my father discoursed on education, it was his 
constant practice to give this piece of advice : * tatv&t to 
be in too great a hurry to show yourself to the world ; 
but lay in first of all as strong a foundation of learning 
and knowledge as possible.* Tlus may very well be 
applied to my present affairs, as, by being in too great 
a hurry, I shall perhaps nun all, and arrive in London 
without reputation, and without anybody's having heard 
of me ; when, by staying a month longer, my fame will 
arrive before me, and, as I said before, nobody will dare 
to find &ult with me, »nce ray omduct will have hid 



the approbation of the greatest living punters. Then, 
agun, on the other hand, there are such pressing reasons 
for my returning home, that I stand as between two people 
pulling me different ways ; so I stand still and do nothing. 
For the moment I take a resolution to set out and in a 
manner take leave of my friends, they call me a madman 
for missing those advantages I have mentioned." Why 
he should have thought that the delay of a month in 
starting would enable his reputation to reach home before 
him it is now difficult to discover. A mere addition of 
four weeks to an absence of two years could hardly add 
much to the capital of knowledge placed to his credit at 
home. If he had painted many pictures in Italy, to be 
exhibited in England, we could understand the terms of 
his letter. It might then have been prudent to delay his 
own arrival until they had acted as avant eoureurs and had 
aroused public curiosity. This probably is the real ex- 
planation of his words, although the few things he punted 
in Rome were of no great importance, and the publicity 
they could then enjoy in England was scanty enough. 

Some very interesting passages are to be found in the 
Florentine note-book : 

" In the piuu of the Annniuiata, admitable fountuns b^ John of 
Bologna ; fift^^ headt — fini initead of whiiken. He had mnch the same 
geniiu ai Michael Angelo." 

" At a acnlptor'a ihop, which wai iormxAf the itodio of John of 
Bologna, is a gesi of one of the lUret belonging to the pedestal at 
Leghorn, and models for two of the figure) belonging to the foantalna 
in the Boboli Gardeni ; admirable.'* 

" Aaoldier with a naked dead body in hii arms, antique fin feeling), and 
finely grouped, which the ancienti leldom observed. John of Bologna 
has been inpetioi to the whole world, ancient and modem, in that respect 
at leait, as well in statuei a* in bauo-ielieros." 

" In the chapel of San Lorenzo : The four recombent figurei hj 
Michael Angelo, with a great duke likewiie by him. When I am here, 
I think VL Angelo (uperiot to the whole world for greatness of taite. 




When I loc^ oa the fignrei of the fbuntamt in the Boboli, of which 1 
hare weta the model*, I think John of Bologna greater than M. A., and 
I beliere it would be a difficult thing to determine who was the greatest 
■cnlptor. The same donbt in regard to the Vatican and the CapeUa 

" In the Cannine : A chapel of the Btancacci, painted b^ Mataccio. 
Raphael hai taken hit Adam and Eve diireii oat of Paradise from hence. 
The heads, according to the ancient ctutotn, are portraits, and have a 
mmderfal character of nature." 

** We mnst arrive at what is unknown by what is known. Whoever 
•eeks a ihorter method onlj deceives himself, and whilit he flatten him- 
■elf that he is in postenion of the art, is embracing a doud, and produces 
oolf moniter* and chimeras." 

"la Ra&aele there ii nothing of the affectation of painting, neither 
dart nor light — no indic3ti<»it of affected contrasts — no affected masses 
of light and diadiow. He it the mediom. Annibal Caracci too 
wild : ditto Michael Angelo : Domenichino too tame : Goido too 

''Hone sap I look like the Attar of the Jesuits lighted up." 
** Gentlemen and Brethren — Hone and Reynolds greeting." 

These last two entries show that during his stay in 
Florence Reynolds was on very intimate terms with a man 
who was afterwards to become his malignant and most 
iinchivabvus enemy. The phrase, "Gentlemen and 
Brediren— Hone and Reynolds greeting," may have been 
noted down as a happy thought for the commencement of 
some j'oint Invitation from the pur. One hopes, in view 
of Hone's later behaviour, that it was never used. Rey< 
noUls may have painted Hone's portrut in Florence, but 
no such picture can now be traced. That Joseph Wilton, 
the sculptor, sat to him, we know. The [ncture is now in 
the possession of Mr. Wilton Chambers, and is one of the 
best of the early works. Wilton was a well-known per- 
sonage, and when Reynolds wrote the letter I have quoted, 
he may possibly have been counting on the effect of the 
portrait in exdting interest about himself when it was seen 



in London. That the fri«idship with Wilton was kept up 
in after years is proved by the canvas in the National 
Portrait Gallery, on which John Francis Rigaud, R.A., 
has combined the portraits of Wilton, Reynolds, and 

Reynolds left Florence on July 4, 1752, after a stay of 
two months. He travelled to Vemce by way of BdogaA^ 
Modena, Parma, Mantua, and Ferrara — Castelfranco he 
left unvisited. On this journey the things by which he 
was chiefly attracted were, naturally enough, the Correggios 
at Parma. Between the master of the *' San Glrolamo ** 
and himself there was an affinity stronger, perhaps, than 
we can trace between any other two painters so far apart 
in time, place, and surroundings. It is true that the 
example took time to produce its e£Fect. It was not imtil 
a good many years after his return to England that the 
palette of Reynolds blossomed into those child portruts 
and other playfiil creations over which the spirit of Cor- 
r^gio seems to hover. In his note-book we find : 

" The Dnomo (Panna) : The * Capok,' by Correggto, uid angel* in 
itone coloni ; " " The ' Holy FamilT- with St. Jerome.' It gave me tt 
great a pleanue ai I ever received from looking on any picture. The ain 
of the headi, expretaion, and colouiing, are in the ntmoit perfectioB. 
'Tit very highly finiihed : no giallo in the fleah. The ihadowi leem to 
be added afterwardi with a thin colour made of oil and lead. Ontline 
to the face, eapecially the Vugin't, the lipi, etc., not teen. The ted 
mixed with the white of the face imperceptibly^-all broad." 

Another reference to Corregg^o in the Palmer manu- 
scripts : 

" The greatly celebrated picture of the ' Holy Family ' by Comgpft, 
at Parma, waa offered to hatd Orford for XS'*'*^ ... I, who luve 
Ken the picture, am far from thinking the price nnreatonable." 

At Mantua and Ferrara, Reynolds made no notes. He 
never alludes to Padua in his pocket-book, but as there a 



a night miacoounted for between his departure from 
Femra and his arrival in Venice, he probably slept there. 
In Venice he arrived on July 24, and there he stayed three 

In spite of what he says in his pocket-books, in his Dis- 
courses, in his notes to Fresnoy, and elsewhere, we may 
safely call Venice the Mecca of his pilgrimage. It was 
there that he made acquaintance with the men who were 
to stir his real aestheric sympathies to their depths, and to 
suggest the ideals after which he strove for the rest of his 
life. The notes he took in Venice are particularly copious. 
They are printed in full both by Leslie and Taylor and by 
Cotton, to whom I may refer those who wish to study them 
in dctidl. It may be well, however, to print once more 
an interesting passage in which he describes the method he 
took to avail himself of Venetian prindples : 

** Wlien I obterred an extiaoidiouy effect of ligbt and ihade in any 
[octiire, I toc^ a leaf ont of mjr pocket-book, and darkened erer^ put of 
it in the same gradation of tight and ibade u the picture, leaving the 
white paper untouched to repreient the light, and this withont any 
attention to the (object, or to the drawing of the figures. A few triab 
of tlus kind will be sufficient to give their condnct in the management 
of their lights. After a few experiments, I found the paper (? paper)) 
U6tted nearly alike. Their general practice appeared to be to alkm- 
oot iboTe a quarter of the picture for the light, including in this portion 
both the principal and the secondary lights ; another quarter to be kept 
n dark as possible; and the remaining half kept in mezzotint or half 
diadow. Rnbens seems to have admitted rather more light than a 
qoarter, and Rembrandt mnch less, scarcely an eighth ; by this condnct 
Rembrandt's light is extremely brilliant, but it costs too mnch ; the 
rest of the pictnie is sacrificed to this cat object. That light will cer- 
tainly appeal the brightest which is tnmnmded with the greatest qoand^ 
of shade, supposing eqnal sidll in the artist. 

** By this means yon may likewise remark the rations forms and shapes 
of those lights, as well as the objects on which they are flung ; whether 
a figure, or the sky, (ff a white napkin, animals, or utensils, often intro- 
doced for this purpose only. It may be observed likewise what portion 
b stnngly reliered and what portion is united with its ground ; for it is 



secetMiy that tome part (though a small one U laffident) thonld be 
ihaip and cntting against iti gronnd, whether it be I^ht on a dark, or 
dark on a Hght ground, in order to ^ve finnneia and dittinctnett to the 
work ; if, on the other hand, it is relieved on ererj' ude, it will appear 
as if inlaid on its gionnd. 

" Such a blotted paper, held at a distance from the eje, will itiike 
the spectator as lomething excellent for the diipotition of light and 
shadow, tbongh it doei not dittingnish whether it is a hiitoiy, a portrait, 
a landscape, dead game, or anythmg else ; for the same principles extend 
to ereiy branch t£ the art." 

Here, perhaps, Reynolds was going more deeply into 
the matter than he thought. Had his " blotted papers " 
been blotted accurately in the colours as well as tones and 
niasses of the originals, he would have amply been extract- 
ing from Titian, Paolo, and the rest, all that makes thur 
pictures so great as works of art, leaving the scientific and 
historical elements behind. 

In his Venetian notes generally he repeats the line of 
conduct he followed in Rome and Florence. He concen- 
trates his attention upon those punters who were highest 
in the world's esteem at the moment. He only once 
alludes to Giovanni Bellini, as the author of " a picture of 
much merit" in Sta. Maria Ma^iore. He ignores him 
at the Frari, in S. Zaccaria, in 5. Gtobbe. Giorgione he 
mentions but once ; drpaccio, of course, he ignores. The 
list of those he selects for honour is so short that I may as 
well give it in full. His favourite seems to have been 
Paolo Veronese ; after him come Titian, Tmtoretto, and 
— Salviati 1 Bassano, Palma Vecchio, and Paris Bordone 
come next. Luca Giordano, Pietro della Vecchia, Varotari, 
and Guido bring up the rear with one mention each. The 
following note on Tintoretto's "Marriage of Cana" is a 
fur example of his more elaborate memoranda : 

** One sees hy this pictnie the great use Tintoretto made of his paste- 
board houses and wax figures for the distribution of his masses. This 






pctqie lui the mott natnia] light and thadow that can be imag^ed. 
All the light comei from the KTcral windowi otct the table. The woman 
who itanda and leani forward to hare a glaai of liqnoi ii of great lex- 
nce ; ahe cotcii part of the table-doth, to that there ii not too much 
white in the pictnre, and hj meant of her itiong ihadowi she throwa 
back the table, and makea the ponpectiTe moie agreeable. But that 
her figure might not appear like a da^ inlaid figure on a light gnrand, 
her face u light, her hair musea with the ground, and the light of her 
handkerchief u iriiiter than the table-cloth. The ahadowi blue nltr. 
ttiong. Shadow* of the table-cloth bloeish; all the other colonn of 
the draperiei are like thoae of t waahed drawing. One leei, indeed, t 
little lake drapery here and there, and one ettong Tellow, he that recoTea 
the light. Tltii pictnie hat nothing oi mittine« : the floor ia light and 
oily grey ; the table-cloth in compariaon u blae, and the figure* are 
leliered from it ttrongly by being dark ; bnt of no colonr icarce. The 
figure of the woman who ponrt oat liqnor, though her ihadowi are rery 
daik, her lightly particularly on the knee, are lighter than the ground. 
All the women at the table make one mau of light." 

The cluef use of such a memorandum must hare been to 
fix the impresuon recdved from the [»cture. It embocHes 
no particular principle on which Reynolds could after- 
vards rely, although it might, no doubt, have come in 
useful as a justification for the patterns to which he was 
led by his own idiosyncntcy. He had, as we can see 
already, an almost pathetic respect for authority. A 
little kter we come upon what looks more like a general 
rule : 

" A figure, or fignrea, on a light ground ; the upper pari ihonid be 
ai light, if not lighter, than the ground, the lower part dark ; hanng 
lighn here and there. The ground [proper^] dark — when the lecond 
maM of light it too great, interpoie tome dark figure to divide it in 

Although, I ^cy, it would not be difficult to match 
every Venetian picture which obeys this rule with one that 
does nothing of the land, Reynolds himself kept it in 
memory, and we shall find many pictures in which he carries 
it out literally enough. 




On Aogiut 1 6, 1752, Reynolds left Venice and turned 
his face towards En^and. Northcote tells a story which 
seems to show that he had felt his absence more than we 
should hare expected, and that his return was due as much 
to home sickness as to the necesnty of b^^ning seriously 
to put money in bis pocket. It seems that, being at the 
Venetian Opera House with some other Englishmen, a 
ballad was sung which lud been popular when he was last 
in London, and that it affected the whole party to tears. 
The painter ordered lus horses and set out, travelling by 
Padua, Brescia, Bergamo, Milan, and Turin. Between 
Turin and the Mt. Cenis he encountered his old master, 
Hudson, who was rushing to Rome, " merely to say he 
had been there." From the Mt. Cenis, he reached Paris 
by way of Lyons. There he parted company for a time 
with his companion and froUgit C^useppe Marcht, the 
young Italian, [ucked up in Rome, who was afterwards to 
become famous as a scraper of mezzotints. Fintting that 
he had arrived at his last nx louis, Reynolds gave two of 
them to Mardu, telling him to reach Paris as best he could, 
while he himself went on by diligence. Marclu walked the 
whole way, rejoining his master when the latter had been 
dght days in the capital. Reynolds stayed a month in 
Paris, although, apparently, he found nothing in the French 
School of the time to satisfy his artistic appedte. *' The 
French," he says, " cannot boast of above one painter of a 
truly just and correct taste, free of any mixture of afiec- 
tation or bombast" It would have been pleasant to 
believe that in these words Reynolds was alluding to 
Chardin, who, in this very year, 1752, had recdved a 
pension from the French king. But of opinion Reyndds 
was no [uoneer, and his next words, " and he was always 
proud to own from what modeb he had formed his style 
-^to wit, Raffaele and the Antique," show that aome one 



very different from the delightful and most unaffected 
pednter of still life — and of the life which conies nearest 
to " still " — was in his mind. No doubt, Tom Taylor 
was right in suppoung the allusion was to Eustache 
le Sueur. 

Hudson, who must have seen Italy in a month, joined 
his former apprentice in Paris. The pair travelled together 
to London, where they arrived on the 1 6th of October, 



1752— 1768 

was away ^m England three 

i five months, of which two 

eight months were spent in 

In my first chapter I have 

like others who have dealt 

wiui u*c painter's career, to describe 

what he did during that considerable absence. But, in 

truth, there are gaps. His doings with his brush during 

his wandgrjahre would easily go into a few months ; 

while such study as we may infer from the contents of his 

note-books could not have made any very exhaustive calls 

on his time or energies. On the other hand, we get a few 

significant hints at jollification of one kind and another. I 

fancy that if we knew the whole truth about his Roman 

days, we should find that a good many were passed in 

Goldsmith's fashion rather than in Johnson's, and that, 

like other young men, he there had that look into life at 

its fullest, without which few of us can settle down into 

the serenity with which Reynolds watched the passage of 

his last forty years. During his absence, he seems to have 

written very few letters ; scarcely any have come down to 

us. Beyond his pocket-books and the few pictures painted 

abroad, the only evidence as to how he lived b contuned 

in the character of his friends and a few anecdotes which 




have coasted round the gulf of oblivion. All these pcunt 
in one direction, and justify the suspicion that plenty of 
cakes and ale were mixed up mxh his study of the ** great 
style " in art. The pictures he painted, few as they are, 
would enable him to live bende the young Englishmen of 
family and their bear-leaders, with whom much of his time 
was passed. In this connection, a well-known dictum of 
Hudson's has some significance. The first portrait 
Reynolds punted after his return to London was the 
*' Giuseppe Mardu," in a turban, which belongs to the 
Royal Academy. On seeing it Hudson exclaimed, 
'* Reynolds, you don't paint as well as you did before you 
went to Italy,** an opimoa which has usually been put 
down to jealousy. And yet it had not a little justifica- 
tion. A comparison between the Marchi and the portrait 
of the punter himself in which he shades his eyes 
with his hand, will show that, although the former 
is more brilliant in colour, and must have been much more 
brilliant when it was new, the latter is better conceived 
more soundly painted, and, in short, a more completely 
successful creation. Even now, with all our gratitude to 
Sir Joshua for the splendid pages he has added to the 
history of English art, we cannot entirely refuse to allow 
that Hudson was right, and that, in fact, Reynolds did 
paint better before he subjected himself to the temptations 
of Italy than he did immediately afterwards. 

Northcote tells us that when Reynolds returned to 
London, " he found his health in such an indifiFerent state 
as to judge it prudent to pay a vi^t to his native air." 
He went down to Plymouth, where he stayed three 
months. There he painted, we are told, but two por- 
truts : one of a young lady, the other of his phyracian. 
Dr. John Mudge, the son of that Zachariah Mudge who 
had been one of his first friends and encouragers. This 



portrait is still in the possession of the Mudge hmiiy. 
It is now little more than a monochrome, and shows 
that Reynolds began his experimental methods rery 
soon indeed afiter Vemce had dazzled his eyes. To the 
bit^rapher, the chief importance of tlus sojourn in 
Plymouth has to do with Sir Joshua's domestic relatioas 
rather than with his art. When he left England, in 1749, 
his youngest surviving ^ter, Frances, was only nineteen, 
•o that his acquuntance with her, as a woman of formed 
character, dates from some years later. Attracted no 
doubt by the amiability which was afterwards to make her 
such a favourite mth Johnson and others who were not 
affected by her domestic pecularities, Reynolds invited her 
to share the home he was about to set up in London. The 
painter himself seems at first to have thought of settling 
in Plymouth, at least for a time. But Leslie tells us — 
he does not say on what authority — that Lord Edgcumbe 
strongly urged him to establish himself without delay in 
the capital. However this may be, he returned to 
London early in 1753, and took rooms in St Martin's 
Lane, which was then the headquarters of art. The 
house. No. 1 04, had, no doubt, a regular studio, for it had 
been previously occupied by Hogarth's father-in-law, ^ 
James ThornhiU, by Van Nost, the sculptor, and by 
Francis Hayman, the master of Gunsborough. "Just 
behind the house," says Smith, "upon the site of the 
present Meeting House for Friends* . . . stood the 
first studio of Roubiliac. There, amot^ other works, he 
executed the famous statue of Handel for Vauxhall 
Gardens." The entry which led to it was then known as 
St. Peter's Court. When Roubiliac left, his studio was 
taken for the &mous drawing academy, to which Hogarth 
made over the casts and properties he had inherited from 
* This itill tttndi wheic it did whea Smith wrote. 



Liond Fhitlips 






Th(H*nhiII. The estabUshment of this academy marked 
the first definite stage in the process which was to end in 
the Inrth of the great institution which has dominated 
Sritbh art for nearly a century and a half. In spite c^ 
his |»roximityi Reynolds does not seem to have helped m 
the work of the school. He was t member and p»d his 
quota, but we do not hear of him in connection with the 
first steps of any of the young painters who there received 
their education. AJl his life he was to be a bad master. 
Northcote, half a century later, was to be able to say that 
of all Sir Joshua's pupils — and many, of sorts, passed 
through his studio— he, Northcote, was the only one who 
had ever done anything. " Reynolds," he says, " certwnly 
was very deficient in making scholars ; fm* although he 
had a great many under him who Hved in his house for 
years, yet thnr names we never hear of, and he gave him- 
self not the least trouble about them or thar ^te. It 
was his opinion that a genius could not be depressed nor 
any instruction make a painter of a dunce. So he left 
them to chance and their own endeavours. . . . Most of 
hisschdars could never get a decent livelihood, but lived 
ID poverty and died in debt, miserable to themselves and 
a disgrace to the art I alone escaped this severe fate."* 
Such indifierence was thoroughly characteristic. Sir 
Joshua's nature, easy-going, imperturbable, eminently 
clubbable as it was, was essentially self-contained. He 
enjoyed the company of his friends and loved to have men 
of social talent about his table, but he was incapable of 
the busy-ness over details and preparations in general 
wluch marks the man who is really altruistic and solicitous 
for the well-bdng of those with whom he comes in 
contact. Reynolds would give a pupil the run of his 
house, would let him copy what he liked and learn as much 
* Northcote: "Life of Sii Jothna RcTiioldi." 



as he rauld from his ftHow scholars ; he would cvta 
condescend, now and then, to require his asnstance in a - 
drapery or accessory ; but to lay down his own preoccupar 
tions and to put himself in the placx of a young man 
wishing to penetrate the secrets of art, was entirely 
outside his scheme of life. We need, therefore, feel no 
surprise that he took no practical share in the various 
educational experiments which preceded and accompanied 
the foundation of the Royal Academy. 

When Reynolds appeared in London, slu^ishness d 
invention was the great defect of English painters. Many 
punted well enoi^h, and would have turned out [nctures 
capable of exdting a permanent interest if they had but 
spurred their bruns, and had realised that only a man with 
supreme aesthetic gifb can afford to depend solely on lus 
methods of expression. Each painter had a few patterns, 
which he repeated with as little misgiving as a lien comique 
feels over a popular song. Reynolds thus describes them : 
" They have got a set of postures which they apply to all 
persons indiscriminately ; the consequence of which is that 
all their pictures look like so many signr-post paintings ; 
and if they have a history or family to paint, the first thing 
they do is to look over thdr commonplace book, containing 
sketches which they have stolen from various pictures ; 
then they search their prints over, and pilAr one figure 
from one print and another from a second ; but never take 
the trouble to think for themselves." No doubt the less 
able among them actually did the things Reynolds here 
describes, but the want of mental initiative among the more 
gifted was the natural result of the general slackness of 
the times. A man like Richardson, who thought and wrote 
so well, and did occa^onally produce such an excellent 
[nece of art as the portrut of Anne Oldfield engraved by 
Edward Fisher, must have painttd so dully on the whole 



through the want of such external stimulant as only emu- 
lation and a certain measure of appreciation can give. No 
man was ever more stereotyped than Gainsborough in what 
I may call his hack work. To the ordinary sitter, who 
came for his portrait as he now goes to some ^hionable 
photographer, he gave no thought at all. He planted his 
head in the middle of a 30x25 canvas, whisked on his 
coat, stuck his hat under his left arm, swept about him an 
oval band of umber and black, and held out his hand for 
his fee. But within Gainsborough a supreme artist lay in 
wait, so that when a beautiful woman or a man with a 
stimulating personality appeared on the threshold of his 
painting room, they had the same efiect on his imagination 
as the bellows on a blacksmith's fire. When Reynolds 
came to London, however, Gainsborough was still obscure 
among the Suffolk lanes, and the only English painter who 
was feeding art with thought was Ht^arth. Many others 
were [>unting soundly indeed, and with considerable know- 
ledge of their craft, but stolidly and without making the 
slightest effort to show that they were thinking as they sat 
at th«r easels. Reynolds was the first English painter to 
keep lus fancy alert and to provide every picture which 
issued from his studio with a little soul, often, of course, 
humble enough, of its own. " Damn him," said Gsuns- 
borough, '* how various he is I " and when I come to deal 
at length with his art I shall try to show that in this matter 
of variety, of never flagging invention and contrivance, 
Reynolds was unique among the pdnters of the eighteenth 

Reynolds was not long content with rooms in St. Mar- 
tin's Lane. Before many years had passed, he moved a 
hundred yards to the north, or rather north-west, to the 
house near the corner of Great Newport Street which is 
now occupied by Mr. Rutley, the picture cleaner. There 



the brother and sister first embarked on house-kee^Mng for 
themselres, and there Reynolds felt himself suffidentljr 
secure to ruse his prices to the highest level of the day. 
These were : for a head, twelve, for a half-length twenty- 
four, and for a full-length forty-right, guineas. Not many 
years afterwards the tariif rose to fifteen, tliirty, and uxty 
guineas respectively. AUomng for the diminution in the 
^ue of money, and for other matters which have to be 
taken into account—such as the difierent ideas then pre- 
viuling as to how far it was reasonable to draw upon pu|nls, 
drapery men, &c., for assistance — the earning power of a 
fashionable portrait punter did not differ materially from 
what it is now. Reynolds was never left in any doubt as 
to his success from the commercial standpoint. He was 
no sooner established in St. Martin's Lane, than sitters 
flocked to his door. Probably the first were sent by the 
vartoiis influential friends he had made in Rome and in his 
native district. Among the portraits he finished during 
the four or five years which elapsed before he removed to 
Newport Street, we already find the names of a laige 
number of the leaders of English Society. In 1755, less 
than two years after his arrival in Ix^ndon, we learn from 
his pocket-book — the first of the series — ^that he had no 
fewer than lao different sitters. In 1757, the total, includ- 
ing one d<^ for whom an appointment is entered, had risen 
to 184. I have taken the trouble to count the actual 
sittings booked ; they amount to 677, an amazing number 
for a young artist of whom no one had ever heard five 
years before. "The year 1758," say Leslie and Taylor, 
'•according to Northcote, was the very busiest time of 
Reynolds's whole life, and the pocket-book completely 
confirms him. It contains the startling number of 150 
sitters." So it does ; but we have seen that what the joint 
audiors call a startling total represents, in fkct, a falling off 


Sir Julius Wbrnheh, Bart. 




of more than thirty from the previous year. The ptunter't 
fifth year in London was his record from this point of 
view. No wonder he raised his prices, and arranged to 
produce less and earn more. The truth is, that in the 
dghteenth century the demand for good portraits was fu 
in excess of the supply. Every man who could turn out 
a good likeness and give lus clients the looks of gentlefolks 
was sure of a living, while to those who could add a touch 
of art, »tters flocked in crowds. Hogarth was not popular 
as a face punter, but then Hogarth, with all Ms gemus, 
could neither catch nor create the air of breeding. He 
had none of the gift with which Nature had endowed 
Reynolds, Romney, and, with a still more lavish generosity^ 
Gunsborough, of clothing men and women in a distinction 
they had never enjoyed on canvas since the death of Van 

The much abused eighteenth century made curiously 
few mistakes in art. Its excellent architects were allowed 
to cover town and country irith charming houses, and 
dignified, if not very churchy, chiirches. Its painters of 
ability won fame, at least, if not always fortune, the one 
serious exception being Richard Wilson, whose character 
fought hard against his success. Barry, no doubt was 
ncfjtected, but he deserved neglect Not only was his 
character detestable; his genius, like that of poor Haydon, 
was nine parts ambition to one of abiUty. Sculptors P 
Well, you require goods to make a market, and yet the 
one English imaginative sculptor was not so entirely 
ignored as it is the fashion to make out, while men like 
Wilton,Bacon,and NoUekens received exactly the patronage 
they deserved. England, no doubt, is an inartistic nation. 
Our continental friends tell us so, and we accept thdr 
verdict with a humility which is almost pathetic. And yet 
from the days of Holbdn to our own, we have recognised 



genius when we saw it with a readiness to which no other 
country can show a parallel No clever foragner has left 
our shores with empty pockets. No great artist of our 
own has been left to eat out his heart in starvation. 
Some, no doubt, have sounded tiie depths of distress, but 
not for want of employment. Ginstable was an innovator, 
speaking a new language, and yet he was accepted from 
the first by his fellow artists, and by a large enough section 
of the public to make his po«tion secure. To find a 
paralld in our artistic history Co the sufierings of Jean 
Franijpis Millet, we have to turn to men like Haydon, 
who clamoured for a recognition he had never earned, or 
to a spendthrift like Morland, who died in a spunging 
house under a hail of cheques. That commercial England 
misunderstood art, and long failed to realise how much 
her own prosperity depended on the satisfaction of the 
aesthetic instinct, is of course true. But those are the 
ways, not of the Anglo-Saxon race, but of ccHnmerce. In 
speaking of Sir Joshua's start in life, I called the profes- 
sion of painting the most hazardous of all. I ought to 
have qualified the assertion, for the risk lies not so much 
in &ilure of opportunity — as it does, for instance, in the 
law — as in the tmpos^bility of foretelling the outcome of 
the most apparently promising bent towards art. Facility 
has little or nothing to do with creative power, and yet It 
is on the evidence of facility, or at any rate of mechanical 
aptitude, that the dedsion has to be made whether the boy 
or girl shall take up art or not. The risk incurred by 
Reynolds was that of turning out a Hazlitt. There was 
no danger of his meeting with the fate of Millet. 

The promptness of our painter's success mth the upper 
ranks of En^ish Society was partly due, no doubt, to the 
good offices of his friend, Ixwrd Edgcumbe. *' He," we 
are told by Mason, " persuaded many of the first nobility 



to sit to him for their pictures ; and he (? Reynolds) 
applied to such of them as had the strongest features, and 
whose likeness therefore it was the eauest to hit" Lord 
Edgcumbe's reconrniendation, however, could not have 
helped his frotigi much had the latter ^uled to justify it 
hj aduerement. Happily, an opportunity came pat upon 
the moment, of which he made the most. His friend 
Kq>pd commtsuoned a full-length portrait, and Reynolds 
so carried out the order that the picture became a landmark 
in the history of European art. 

Modern painting was born in England towards the 
middle of the eighteenth century, and in its inauguration 
this ** Keppel " by Reynolds must divide honours with the 
moralities of Hogarth. The tradition which had per- 
nsted, with a few notable exceptions, from the days of 
Van Eyck to those of Nattier, Van Loo, LaigiUiere, and 
such Englishmen as Knapton, had suddenly to give way 
to a new theory as to how a sitter should be treated. It 
may seem fantastic to bracket Van Eyck with a painter 
like Nattier, but a little consideration will show that in a 
sense they belonged to the same faction, that is to say, that 
if Van Eyck had lived in I^iris in 1750, he would have 
omceived a portrait much in the same way as Nattier, and 
so, mutoAi mutamiu, with the Frenchman. The conscious 
desire of both was to reproduce their sitter, choosing a 
moment when he or she was thinking of nothing in parti- 
cular, and surrounding him with his familiar properties 
carefully marshalled into a de»gn. No doubt there were 
times when a more complex idea intruded. Van Eyck, 
for instance, meant to tell a story when he concaved the 
Amolfint group in the National Gallery. Titian's "Charles 
V. at Muhlberg," is, in a sense* a dramatic picture. That 
is to say, it reftresents the Emperor doing something on a 



fiunoiu occaaon. "La petite Pelisse," of Rubens, is 
dramatic in another way, and similar instances could be 
found in the work of Velazquez, Van Dyck, and one w 
two of Titian's contemporaries in Venice. But between 
all these and the idea of Reynolds there is a notable dis- 
tinction. The English punter did not merely set his hero 
among significant surroundings. He took his keynote 
from him, portraying him when some characteristic power 
or passion was actually at work, and so endeavoured to 
give the spectator the deepest pos»ble glance into both the 
posnbilities of his character and the facts of his career. 
The painter's various bi<^raphers knew what they were 
doing when they laid such stress on the portrait of Keppel. 
It was not Sir Joshua's first attempt at dramatic present- 
ment; witness his own early portrait of himself, painting; 
but it was the first to attract any wide notice and to 
awaken the narrow public of the time to the dawning of 
a new era on English art. We must allow that in some 
ways it is not among the painter's unqualified successes. 
It must always have been tight in execution and curiously 
uninteresting in colour, while it has darkened greatly with 
time. As a design,* however, it seems to me inferior only 
to such superbly happy conceptions as the "Lady Crosbie" 
and the " Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, with her 
baby." It completely achieved the object with which, in 
some degree at least, it was painted. It turned all eyes 
upon Reynolds, and powerfully helped the insistence c£ 
Lord Edgcumbe in directing the stream of patrons into 
St. Martin's Lane. 

Some two years before the first meeting between 

* Lcdie deduct ttut, at a fact, the attitada wu takta from a itatiw^ 
and that he himielf had »eea the ikctch on which it wai founded. Ai 
he doei not name the oiiginal, it ii difficult to check hit itatement, but 
thae ii nothing impiobable abont it. 


ttaliutial Portrait Gailtry 






Reynolds and Keppel, the latter had ibeen posted to the 
command of H.M.S. Maidstone^ a fifty-gun ship, which he 
had had the ill luck to lose on the coast of France. He 
had run her ashcH« vhile pursuing a large French vessel 
and trusting to the chase for the depth of water. 
The MaUstoMS broke up, but Keppel, by dint of well- 
directed energy, saved most of his crew. He was court- 
martiaUed, of course, but acquitted with honour. Reynolds 
took his motive horn this occurrence. He punted Keppel 
afoot on the stormy coast, moving energetically and giving 
the orders which nMnimised the disaster. The action of 
his figure is excellent, frc»n the testhetic as well as the 
dramatic standpoint, and Keppel's history gives it the 
& fmpos such conceptions too often lack. 

Reynolds was a bold, though Ic^timate, borrower. He 
did not pilfer ; he simply followed the example of all his 
great predecessors, in making use of the fittest idea which 
occurred to him, whether it was suggested by some pre- 
nous user or whether it sprang unaided out of his own 
Ivun, like Pallas irom the head of Zeus. The real and 
only touchstone of lawful plagiary is the power to 
asamilate, and perhaps the finest instance of triumphant 
emergence from such a test is the use Raphael made of 
Ftlippino's " St. Paul." Filippino's apostle is addressing a 
nngle individual, so that attitude, voice, and gesture had 
all to be more or less restruned ; Raphael's " St Paul " 
is holding the attention of a crowd, so that increased 
energy was everywhere required. This Raphael gives with 
extraordinary felicity, combining it with deference to the 
(Higinator in such min(»' points as the fall of his draperies. 
In short, Raphael lifts Filippino's figure to the occasion, 
and thneby sanctifies his theft Reynolds, in his borrow- 
ings, was at a disadvantage from which Raphael was free. 
In the nature of things his plagiarisms were from artists 



fts great as himself. But even so, he contrires to justify 
what he does. lUs most audacious proceeding of the sort 
was, perhaps, his requisition of Michelangdo's "Joel " to 
be the matrix of his own " Mrs. Addons as the Tragic 
Muse." And yet, before the latter, we feel no call to 
pretend that its success was due to any one but Reynolds. 
It is of no use attempting, in such a volume as this, 
to follow Reynolds through every step of his career. 
Neither, happily, is it necessary, for Sir Joshua, unlike 
Gainsborough, has had his Boswell, and all the known 
facts of his life are set out with charming discursiveness 
in the volumes of Leslie and Taylor. I may therefore be 
permitted to adopt a more sketchy method, and to confine 
myself to the broad masses as it were of the picture, 
dealing rather with results than causes, and being satisfied 
if, when all is done, I can leave a true impression of 
his personality, of his fortune in tlus world, and of the 
place he occupies m the history of art. So fkc, I have 
detuled his proceedings with some minuteness. He was 
in the making, and the process had to be shown. It was 
complete, in one sense, within a year of his final migration 
to London. After that he grew enormously as an artist, 
but his place in London Ufe was determined at a stroke. 
He stepped at once into the part of the most conspicuous 
painter of his day ; he was accepted, socially, by the wtts, 
the men of fashion, and last but very far from least, 
by the beauties and great ladies. He can never have 
known an hour of anidety about ways and means. Respon- 
sible only for one unmarried sister, he found his studio 
besieged by clients as soon as it was ready to receive them, 
and he had every reason to suppose that his capadty 
would be equal to all the demands the world could make 
upon it The psdnter who can at once realise his concep- 
tions as an artist and win by their help the means to satisfy 



the rest of his ambitions, leads the ideal life. It is impos- 
sible to imagine a happier lot beneath the stars than his. 
The one reflection to interfere with his felicity is the 
knowledge that some day death will come to end it 
North(ote told one of the viutors — I forget which — who 
firquented his studio for the sake of his conversation, 
that he could imagine no more de^rable a heaven than to 
be forgotten by Providence at his easel, and to exist for 
ever in his little punting room, working on those enor- 
mous canvases which offered such an amusing contrast 
with his own bulk and the size of his studio. Is there 
any other human pursuit of which its professors can 
honestly say as much ? 

Soon after the " Keppel " was finished, Reynolds began 
a portrut of two young men, Lords Huntingdon and 
Stormont, on one canvas. They had just returned from 
the Grand Tour, and were making some little sdr in 
Society.* The present whereabouts of this portrait seems 
to be unknown ; at any rate, I have f^led to trace it, and 
Graves and Cronin have succeeded no better. It was a 
success in its day, and led to the painting of one which has 
a certain accidental importance in the long series of Sir 
Joshua's works. In Mason's Anecdotes of Sir Joshua 
Reynolds, published by Cotton, the poet tells us that upon 
sedng the picture of Lords Huntingdon and Stormont, 
Lord Holderness f was induced to sit for his portrait, and 

* " There are new jroung lords, fresh and fresh ; two of them are 
mnch in tt^ue. Lord Hantirigdon and Lord Stormont, I lapped with 
them the other night at Lad^ Caroline Petersham's. The latter it most 
cried np, but he is the more reKrved, seems shy and to have sense, but 
I shonld not think extreme ; yet it is not fair to jodge ■ silent man at 
first. The other is very lively and agreeable." — Horace Walpole : letter 
to Montagn, December 6, 1753. 

t Robert i'Atcj, 4th and last Earl of Holderness. 



that he (Mason) himself was present at every dtting. Tlus 
gave him an opportunity of learning the painter's method 
at the time, which he thus describes : 

" On hit light-coloured cuitm he had alread]' laid > ground of white, 
where he meant to place the head, and which was tttll w«t. iHe had 
ootbing upon hit palette but flake white, lake, asd black ; and withont 
inaViwg ao7 preriont tketch oi outline, he began with much celerity to 
tcnmble theie pigmentt together, till he had produced, in leit than an 
honr, a likencti lufficiently intelligible, yet withal, at might be expected, 
cold and pallid to the latt degree. At the tecond sitting he added, I 
belier^ to the other cobun a little Naplet yellow; but I do not 
remember that he oted any Termilion, neither then or at the third 
trial; bnt it it to be noted that hit Lordtliip had a cooDtenance much 
hughtened by tcorbatic eruption. Lake atone might produce the car- 
nation required. . . . Hit drapery wat crimxm velvet, copied from a 
coat he then wore, and apparently not only painted bnt glazed with 
lake, which hat itood to thit hour perfectly well, though the face, which, 
at well at the whole picture, was highly varnished before he tent it home, 
very ixnfedtd, and soon after the forehead particularly cracked, almost 
to peeling off, which it would have done long tince Iiad not his pupil 
Dou^7 repaired it. I have described this p<»trait to particularly on 
account of my believing that he continued ^s mode <rf painting for 
many years." 

Here we see the r»ult of Gandjr's theory about cream 
or cheese. Reynolds prepared a bed as it were for his 
sitter's head, knowing how difficult it would be to give 
the deured hnpasto as he went along. If he had allowed 
his flake white to become hard before painting upon it, 
the subsequent work might have stood well enough. He 
would then have anticipated the contrivance relied on for 
an appearance of solidity by so many of the younger 
painters of to-day. As it was, the bed of white absorbed 
the glazing colours, and left a head which must have 
contrasted in a comically startling way with the scorbutic 
complexion of the original. Judging from results, Mason 
was quite right in saying that Reynolds persevered with 
this method for many years. Down to about 1770, we 



can trace portruts which have been built up in glazing 
odours on these thick slabs of preparation. In some in- 
stances they have &ded into bluish-white ghosts, in others 
they have simply paled, while in a great many cases the lost 
carnations have been replaced with the brush or finger-tip 
of the restorer. It is very unusual to find a head painted 
in this fashion which has retained convincingly its original 
look. After 1770, or thereabouts, frightened, I suppose, 
by the accumulating evidence that his system was dan- 
gerous, he punted more solidly, practically confining his 
experiments to vehicles, a change which transferred the 
point of danger from the colour of his pictures to their 
tangible substance. Speaking roughly, Sir Joshua's early 
]uctures darken, the works of lus middle period fade, those 
of his late maturity crack. The productions of his first 
youth and of his old age stand best of all. 

The first rivalry to excite the pecuUar, quiet jealousy 
of Reynolds was that of the pastellist Liotard, who vi«ted 
London about 1753. Liotard was a curious instance of 
the man of talent masquerading as a charlatan, a combina- 
tion which is not so rare as one might think. He was no 
genius, but he understood his business, and his works, 
whether in oil, pastel, water-colour or enamel, show none of 
the sltghtness and pretence which mark the impostor. The 
hackneyed " Chocolatifcre " of the Dresden Gallery is an 
excellent piece of technique. Liotard, however, was not 
content to base on his merits alone his claim to the loaves 
and fishes of England and other countries into which his 
wanderings took Mm. He dressed himself like a Turk, 
and wore a beard to his wust, albeit a citizen of the least 
oriental of nations. It might be argued that this proceed- 
ing was an ei^dence of modesty, and that Liotard made a 
guy of himself because he thought his powers insufficient 
49 » 



to attract notice Ttithout some such lud I However that 
might be, he provoked Reynolds into one of his rare but 
»gnificant displays of temper, "The only merit," he said, 
** in LJotard's pictures is neatness, which, as a general rule, 
is the characteristic of a low genius, or, ratiier, no genius 
at all. His pictures are just what ladies do when they 
paint for amusement ; nor is there any person, how poor 
soever their talents may be, but in a very few years, by 
dint of practice, may possess themselves of every qualifica- 
tion in the art which this great man has got" Ijotard 
produced many chalk portraits during the two years he 
spent in £ngland,and yet his works are not often met with.* 
I have alluded to him here chiefly because the animus 
shown by Reynolds in the pronouncement just quoted 
seems to me characteristic, and not the sporadic outbreak 
it is called by most of the punter's bi(^;raphers. When 
Reynolds found a competitor ranging up alongside, his 
behaviour was never genial. He did not often give him- 
self away so completely as when he allowed his distaste for 
Liotard to get the better of his prudence, but in all his 
dealings with those who could in any sense be considered 
his rivals, we 6nd a cert«n reserve and inability to expand 
combined ^th an obvious eflbrt to be just. Reynolds 
had a good deal in common with an Englishman even 
more famous than himself ; I mean the great Duke of 
Wellington. In both men, a cool heart and a slightly 
jealous temperament were kept more or less in order by 
brains which perceived the right path and did their best to 
follow it 

The most momentous of all the friendships formed 
by Reynolds b^an soon after his migration to Newport 

* The bat I know are a pair at Lord Roden's, at TnllTinoFe Fai^ 
conn tjr Down. 



Earl Spencsr, K.G, 




Street. I mean, of course, Hs friendship with Johnson. 
Boswell's account of thur first meeting has been quoted 
so often that one feels a Uttle diHident at printing it 
once more, but to paraphrase Boswell is a sin, so here 
it is:— 

" Wben Johnion lived in Cattle Street, Cavendiili Square, he need 
often to Tint tno Udies who lived c^potite to Reynolds, Min Cotteiella, 
danghten of Admiial Cotteiell. Reynoldi med al» to visit there, and 
tkui they met. Ml. Reynolds , . , had, from the first reading of his 
Lift of Sapap, conceived a very high admiration of Johiuon's powers of 
writing. His conversation no leas delighted him, and he cultivated his 
acquaintance with the landable zeal of one who was ambitious of general 
improvement. Sir Joshna, indeed, was laci? enough, at their very first 
meeting, to make a remark which was so mnch above the commonplace 
%tj\K tA conversatiDn, that Johnson at once perceived that Reynolds had 
the habit of thinking for himself. 1^ ladies were regretting the death 
of a friend, to whom they ovred great obligations, npon which Reynolds 
observed : ' Yon have, however, the comfort of being relieved from the 
burden of gratitude.' 

*' They were shocked a little at this alleviating suggestion as too 
(elfish, bnt Johnson defended it in his clear and forcible manner, and 
was much pleased vrith the mind, the fair view of human nature, which 
it exhibited, like some of the RefietHeni of Rochefoucault. The con- 
sequence was that he went home with Reynolds, and supped with 

If my view of Sx Joshua's character be correct, this 
£unous observation sprang from something more intimate 
than a " fair view of human nature." Like all imnecessary 
pas^ons, gratitude is rare, and from what we know of 
Reynolds he woidd be at once the last man to feel it and 
the first to mentally deplore his own insensibility. So to 
him the death of a benefactor would mean release from the 
burden of affecting a virtue he did not possess. His 
remark to the Cotterells probably sprang to his lips because 
it was true, and was allowed to go beyond tbem for the 
sake of its epigrammatic flavour. The story which fol- 
lows it in Boswell has a diflerent but still unamiable touch, 



and seems to lunt that tix CottereUs* dramng-rooin had a 
bad eSect on the two great men : — 

** Sir Joihiu ttdd me c pkuant duncteriitic inecdote of Johnioa 
abost the time of their fint acqnaintaiice. When thcjr were one cren- 
ing togedter at Mitt Cotttielli*, the then DncheM of Aig^Q and another 
lidr of high rank came in. Johnton, t-hinHng that the Mi» CottercUa 
were too modi engroiaed b^ them, and that he and hit friend wen 
n^^ected at low oxnpai^, of whom th^ were tomeiriiat aihamed, gtew 
angry, and retcdved to ihodc their inppoted pride hj making their great 
TintoM imagine thiCf Were low indeed. He addietied himtelf in a kmd 
tone to Mi. ReTnoldi, tajing : ' How much do 7011 think 700 and I 
could get in a week if we were to woA at hard u we conld t ' — •> if 
they had been OHnmon mechanic*." 

The ftiendship between the two men soon became 
an intimacjr. In character each was in a sense the com- 
plementbf the other, while in matters intellectual Johnson 
supplied the trenchancy^ the power to " finish the ball " — 
to take a figure from tennis— which was wanting in Rey- 
nolds. The intellect of the latter was of the class which 
percdves arguments and can set out with some lucidity 
the pros and cons aSzoy question, but finds itself benumbed, 
as it were, when a definite osncluuon, a deciuon as to 
whether the ayes or the noes have it, has to be come to. 
To such a mind the cock-surencss of Johnson would be at 
once a relief and an amusement. To continue the teams 
metaphor, wtule Reyncdds was elaborately returmng the 
ball, imable to settle the matter one way or another, his 
antagoiust Johnson would step in with a smashing volley 
into the grille and make an end. This reading of the two 
charac^rs may seem to be inconnstent with some of the 
facts, but I think the contradiction is more apparent than 
real. Johnson used to consult Reynolds, and perhaps 
defer to his opinion in certain matters of taste, but when 
the question to be decided was on which side of an aigu- 



ment lay the deciure connderation, it was Johnson's hawk- 
eye that pounced upon it. 

Johnson was livir^ in Goi^h Square when Reynolds 
made his acquaintance. The intercourse between them 
was kept up chiefly by the Doctor's Tints to Newport 
Street, where he Tery soon took Frances Reynolds — a 
being " very near to purity itself," as he called her — to his 
heart. Johnson's hours were so irregular and his notions 
of the duration of a call so generous, that Reynolds would 
•omedmes leave him to be enterbuned by his sister while 
he went about his own business. On one occasion he 
penetrated to the Doctor's lair in Fleet Street in company 
with Roubiliac, the sculptor, who wanted to decrecher an 
^taph. The pur were well received, but when the 
sculptor began to hold forth in his flowery French style : 
** Come, come. Sir," broke in Johnson, " let us have no 
more of this bombastic rhodomontade, but let me know in 
simple language the name, character, and quahty of the 
person whose eptaph you intend to have me write.*' The 
** gentle, complying, and bland " Reynolds was himself to 
suffer a good many assaults from the Johnsonian club, but 
he had the knack of an effective counter, with — shall I say ? 
— his own umbrella. 

Among other friendships which began at about the same 
time as that with Johnson, were those ^th Garrick and 
Burke. Goldsmith was a later acquisition^ the introduc- 
tion taking place, probably, in 1762. John Wilkes and 
lustwo brothers were older friends, dating back apparentiy 
to the days when Reynolds was in Hudson's studio. The 
punter's intimacy with the demagogue has perturbed some 
of his bic^raphers, who have found it inconsistent with 
his general character. I must confess that I can see 
nothing strange about it. The reader who has persevered 
irith me thus far will see that, in my view, Sir Joshua was 



a man without deep-seated prejudices of any kind. He 
took people as he found them, and was ready to octract 
such enjoyment as he could out of any one who (Ud not 
threaten his position or trouble his seremty. He was essen- 
tially a spectator. The strifes of esdstence amused him as 
shows ; it was outwde his scheme of life to jump into the 
arena and lay about him with his own fists. A righteous 
indignadoQ was not among his emotions. It would nevCT 
occur to him to shut his door in the hcc of the editor of 
the Norih Briton, or even of the author of the Essay en 
^oman. He would enjoy his society much in the same 
way as he enjoyed that of the Nelly O'Briens, the Kitty 
Fishers, and the Polly Kennedys. Such a temperament has 
its advantages. It cuts both ways, and frees its owner from 
temptation to einl as well as to active benevolence. John- 
son called Reynolds the most invulnerable man he knew, 
** the man with whom, if you should quarrel, you would 
find the most difficulty how to abuse." The l^jnous lines 
in Goldsnuth's "Retaliation" are little more than an ampli- 
fication of this idea, and with everything else told us by 
the punter's contemporaries, they build up a personality 
which was sure to delight in such a companion as 

Other friends of these early years in London included 
the members of the Edgcumbe, Keppel, and Eliot families 
and their connections, as well as a larger number of his 
brother artists than we afterwards find among the painter's 
intimates. The friendship with Hudson was kept up, and 
engagements are entered in the pocket-books vnth Jack 
Astley, Frank Hayman, Joseph Wilton, Francis Cotes, and 
Allan Ramsay. The favourite among all these was Ramsay, 
whose ^;reeable manners and balanced intellect seem to have 
appealed very strongly to Reynolds. As an artist, Ramsay 
was ^Mjilt by pure want of self-confidence. He has left 


Earl Spencer, K.G. 



tlungs which were scanxly excelled in the eighteenth 
century for grace of conception and delicacy of execution, 
such, for instance, as the portrait of his wife in the Edin- 
burgh Gallery. Unfortunately, when a happy design 
occurred to him, he was afraid to make the most of it, and 
left it too often in a state of tantaliMng incompleteness. 
Perhaps this deficiency helped him with Reynolds : certain 
it is that when Ramsay was appointed painter to the King 
on the accesfflon of George III., Reynolds showed no 
symptom of disappcuntment or jealousy. 

The ycari764wasin many ways the most important in 
the punter's life before the foundation of the Royal Aca- 
demy. The list of utters, though by no means the longest, 
is perhaps the most remarkable to be found in the pocket- 
books. It shows how thoroughly Reynolds carried out hia 
policy, or rather, perhaps, obeyed his impulse, to stand 
out«de the political and sodal oinflicts of his day. I cannot 
do better than quote Tom Taylor's sketch of how the 
twelve mondis passed in the pdnter's studio. 

" It wu the Tear of the great Wilkea sgiution, and of tlie famoui 
debate on the legality of genoal wanants . . . when the Houk lat, on 
ncceanTe nighti, eleren honrs, aerenteen boon, thirteen houn ; vriien 
' Totei were brought down in flannels and blankets, till the floor of the 
House Io(^ed like the Pool of Bethesda * ; when the * patriotesses ' of the 
anti'Bnte part7 and the great ladies of the Court faction sat ont thoae ■» 
protracted fightf night after night till the March da)rlight peeped in at 
the windows j or, when ther came in inch shoals that admission to the 
pige<»i-holes was denied diem, establiahed themselves in one of the 
Speaker's rooms, dined, and staged there till twelve, ' playing loo while 
their dear conntry was at stake.' We find the leaden of these Amazonian 
ctduuts, both on the Oppositiim and the Court side, among Reynolds' 
uttexs for this year as the year immediately preceding— the Dncheas of 
Richmond, Lady Sandei, Lady Rockingham, and Mn. Fitzrc^ on the 
ude of the Opposition ; Lady Maiy Coke and Lady Pembroke on that 
of the Conrt The case is the same with the leading men of the time. 
The I.eiccster Fields painting-room was nentral ground, whne as yet all 
partiea mjght meet If Reynolds had planned hi* list of sitters for 176^ 



to iUnttnte die catholicity of hit own popvkrity, he could hardljr have 
duwea them bettei. To hii pamting-Toom comei the Minister who 
granted the general warrant, and the Chief Justice who received the 
freedom of the G^ ai a tribate of grateful retpect for hi) jadgment 
declaring general wananti illegal, nnconititntioiul, and altogether vnd ; 
George Gtenvillei Lord Bnte't Chancellot of the Exdteqner, crotiei Sir 
W. Baker, the ttont alderman and member for Plympton, who . . . 
' drove the Chancellor of the Excheqoer from hit entienchmenti'; wit^ 
and versatile Charlei Townihend bringi hii last SoM-mtt on the stout 
hciresi. Miss Draycott, who hat jntt left the painting chair; Lord 
Granl^, gallant, franlc, and fearless, half-ashamed of terving with an 
adminittratioa which takes away their regiments from his best friendi 
for ■ vote, may break his griefs to the Keppdt, promoted to General 
and Admiral since their exploits at the Havannah, notwithstanding their 
sturdineta in Opposition ; Shelbume, still holding office, but chafing 
against the collar, may here take counsel about the policy of reugning 
with Iiord Holland, cynical, but always good-tempered ; young Charles 
Jamet Fox, just entered at Oxford, can find time to lit to Reynolds 
between play and poUtica, which already divide the anpire of his vigoront 
and venatile mind with art and letters. Here, too, classes and callingt 
cross each other as oddly as opinions. The Aichbishopi of YoA and 
Canterbury take the chair juit vacated by Kitty Pisher and Nelly 
O'Brien ; and Mrs. Abington makes her saucy curtsey to the painter as 
the angnit Chief Justice bows himself in." 

It is a Strange medley, and bears irrefutable witness to 
that detachment of conduct which seems to me the cluef 
oharacterlstic of Reynolds. 

Theyear 1 764 proTidesanother landmark in the punter's 
career. It saw the foundation of the Literary Club. The 
idea of the now famous society first occurred, if we may 
believe Malone,* to Lord Charlemont, but the first effec- 
tive step was taken by Reynolds, who suggested the scheme 
to Johnson, and took his counsel as to how it should be 
carried out. The members were originally limited to 
twelve, but as a matter of fact it started operations with a 
memberslup of nine. The nine were Reynolds, Johnson, 
Burke, Dr. Nugent (Burke's father-in-law), Bennet Lang- 
• See Prior's Lifi tfMaimt, p. 88. 



too, Topham Beauclerc, Goldsmith, Chamier, and the 
spoil-sport Hawkins, whose position in the Re7nolds set 
has always remained somewhat of a mystery. The object 
of Reynolds, we are told, was simply to pronde an arena 
in which Johnson could swing his dub inthout restnunt and 
his friends could enjoy and provoke his vigour. 

Between 1 764 and 1 768 the chief events in the punter's 
life were a severe illness from which he sufiered in the 
summer of 1764; the arrival in London in 1765 of 
Angelica Kaufirnannj who was to have such a curious effect 
upon his &me in some quarters ; and a vi»t to Paris and 
the. north-east of France between the beginning of Sep- 
tember and the end of October, 1768. It was duringthis 
absence abroad that the project for a Royal Academy was 
finally brought to a head by some of his colleagues of the 
Incorporated Society. 

The mystery — if indeed there were any mystery beyond 
that invented by the lady herself — of Angelica Kauffmann's 
relations with Reynolds, has never been satisfiuitorily 
cleared up. English writers have assumed that there was 
nothing between them beyond a flirtation in which the 
lady was the mOTC active agent, while not a few fordgn 
authors, especially those of German nationality, have 
asserted in so many words that Reynolds behaved very ill 
indeed to Angelica. Now that nearly a centiuy and a half 
have elapsed, it is unlikely that any new evidence on the 
point will come to light, so that we have to make up our 
minds on the whole aflair by a mere weighing of proba- 
bilities. The punter was a wary man, with a just mind 
and no passions to speak of. On the other hand, the 
known fects of Angelica's career are enough to prove that 
she was impulsive, credulous, and over sanguine, while her 
reputation was that of a flirt. Given two such characteis, 



wh&t more probable than that the woman should concnve 
and nourish hopes which the man nerer thought of sug- 
gesting, to say nothing of fulfilling i All the real evidence 
points to this as a fair statement of what took place between 
them. We need not be very hard upon Angelica if her 
vanity afterwards led her to justify her own proceedings 
somewhat at the expense of her Abend's reputation.* 

* For the bat cue which can be made foi the lid7,Ke Mitt Genid'i 



1768 — 1769 

\HE chief external event in the life of 
Reynolds was the foundation of the 
1 Royal Academy. 

This came about in the same way as 
I other epoch-making changes. The idea 
' did not spring up, formed and complete, 
in any smgle brain or at any particular moment. It was 
reached by many stepping stones of ^ure. For some 
thirty years before 1769, a succession of attempts had been 
made to concoct an institution which might do for Eng- 
land what their Academy of Panting and Sculpture had 
long been doing for our neighbours across the Channel. 
The first symptom, indeed, of a movement towards co- 
operation in art had declared itself more than a century 
before. In 1662 John Evelyn published a scheme for an 
Academy wUch curiously foreshadowed the actual consti- 
tution of the body now presided over by Sir Edward 
Poynter. Evelyn proposed* that a building should be 
pronded in which students should have much the same 
opportunities for learning their business as they now have 
at Burlington House ; that a keeper and professors should 
be appointed ; that medals and travelling scholarships 
should be ^ven ; and that Fellows should be elected. His 

* In hit Seulftm-a. 



suggestions had, however, no immediste consequence, and 
the next approach to an Academy was a i»ivate venture. 
Walpole tells us that Vertue, the engraver, studied in 171 1 
in a school established hy Sir Godirey Kneller. This is 
believed to have been the immediate forerunner of the 
better-known one for which Sir Junes Thornhill was re- 
sponuble. Thornhill had started a scheme for setting up 
an Academy on a sum of about ;f 3000, to be voted by 
IVliament. Upon this, however, the Treasury put its 
veto, and Thornhill had to be content with opening a 
drawing school in his own house. He then lived in 
James Street, Covent Garden, at the back of the Theatre. 
The venture was a great success, so much so that, when 
Thornhill died, the artists combined to carry on the work. 
H<^arth assisted, after some hesitation, by making over 
his &ther-in-law's casts and other properties to the new 
body. Tlus school^ which had its first home in Arundel 
Street, off the Strand, and its second in Sl Peter's Court, 
St. Martin's Lane, was the germ out of which both the 
Incorporated Society of Ardsts, and afterwards the Royal 
Academy, were to grow.* PasMng over the abortive 
attempt made in conjunction with the Dilettanti Socie^, 
we come to an event which cleared away the real stumbling 
block to the foundation of an Academy. In 1760, the 
first exhibition of current art, in the sense in which we 
now use the word, was held, and proved a great success. 
It showed that the public was ready to pay its money to see 
modern English pictures, and solved once and for all the 
question as to how funds were to be provided. The exhibi- 
tion was open only from the 2 ist of April to the 8th of May. 

* Tbii ri$mmi diffen tn one or two particalsn from tHit giTcn \if 
Hogarth in the paper published hj Iicland (Supplcmentai7 voL to 
Htgarti lituitratttl), but, on comparing authcuitiet and date*, I ventuie 
to think it hai the best evidence behind it. 


Earl Sl■K^tEK, K.G. 




The passport for admisuon was a nxpenny catalogue, of 
which no fewer than 6582were sold. After paying expenses, 
the artists bought ;^iOO three per cent, consols out of 
the profits. After this, ererything was comparatively 
plain-sailing. Instead of hanging back, the artists were 
now eager to rush on, and the following year saw two 
competing Societies in the field. The one drawback, 
apparently, to the exhibition at the Sodety of Arts had 
been overcrowding. The room had often been inconve- 
niently full, and some of those who had filled it had not 
been of a desirable class. To prevent this in future, a 
certsun number of the exhibitors proposed that the price of 
the catal<^^ should be a shilUng, and that nobody should 
be admitted without one. Tlus proposal found no favour 
with the Society of Arts. The Council in^sted on the 
show being ftee to all comers, and found a considerable 
amount of support among the artists themselves. The 
m^ority, however, refused to give way: the experiment 
of 1760 had shown that there *'was money in" the 
exhibiting of modern pictures : and so they hardened their 
hearts, christened themselves the Society of Artists of 
Great Britain, took the great room of an auctioneer in 
Spring Gardens, and there held an exhiHtion on thdr own 
lines during May, 1761. The catalogue had two plates 
by Hogarth, and one by Wale and Grignon. It was so 
attractive that over 13,000 coi»e3 were sold, bringing 
more than ;£650 into the artists* cofiers. Meanwhile, the 
mofe timid men, the men who had agreed with the 
Society of Arts, had christened themselves the Free 
Society of Artists, and had b^un a series of exhiM- 
tions, which lasted, with gradually decUning prosperity, 
down to 1778. 

Returning to the aeceders — for so, pace WUliam Sandby, 
were the members of the Society of Artists — ^we find them 



in 1762, the second year of their enstence, charging one 
shilling for admission and ^ving the catalogue gratis. 
This catalt^e had a pre^MX, or apology, by Dr. Johnson, 
explaining the objects of the exhibition, and confessing the 
purposes to which any surplus would be put.* The 
profits, after paying expenses, were £s^4 8/. i</. Two 
years later these had risen to £y62 13;., and amtution had 
come with success. The King was petitioned for a charter, 
and on the 26th of January, 1765, the Society became the 
Incorporated SociETr of Artists of Great Britain. 
It then consisted of 2 1 1 members, one of whom, of course, 
was Reynolds. 

So far no measures had been taken to bring instruction 
in art witlun the scope of the Society, but a move in that 
direction was made in 1767. In May it was resolred 
by a majority of the Fellows, " That it be referred to the 
directors to consider of a proper form for instituting a 
public academy, and to lay the same before the quarterly 
meeting in September next." A few days later, in June, 
it was, however, resolved, " That the resolution that the 
directors should proceed to con»(fer of a form for msti- 
tutlng a public academy be repealed, bis Majesty having 
been graciously pleased to declare his royal intention of 
taking the Academy under his protection." It is now, 
I fear, impossible to find out exactly what had happened 
in the Interval between these two resolutions ; but there 
appears to be little doubt that the intrigue — for so it must 
be called, in spite of its good objects and its remarkable 
success — which ended dghteen months later in the founda- 

* Reprinted hy Sindbj (fiUtsry tfAt Jttjat Jcadiuj cfJrti, Vol I, 
P-37)- JohiuonwuftcariotutpoiuorforK pictnteexhibidoii; Johnwa, 
who, ia 1761, wiote to Biretti : " Tha exhibition hu filled the headi ct 
the artiitt and loren of ait. Sniety life, if it be not long, ii tedioni, 
unce we are forced to call in the aid of to many tiifiea to rid ai of oni 
time — of that time which can nera letum,** 



tion of the Royal Academy, had already be^un. The con- 
stitution of the Incorporated Sodety was faulty In several 
ways,' but the particular defect which led to the catastrophe 
of 1 768 was that the whole of its more than two hundred 
members had an equal share In its government The more 
disdnguished members, whose interest it was that the 
Socie^ should prosper as a society, were at the mercy of 
thdr unsuccessfiil cdle^ues, whose aims were naturally 
more selfish. In 176$ the latter had captured the Society ; 
they had turned out the original directors and installed 
themselves in thnr vacant places, with the result that, 
mth few dxceptiona, all the men upon whose abilities the 
success of the exhibitions depended, resigned thor member- 
ship and set themselves quietly to found a body which 
should profit by the mistakes of its fbrenmners. 

In the absence of direct evidence it is difficult, if not 
impos^ble, to exactly apportion the credit which belongs 
to those who took the first steps towards the supercesaon 
of the Incorporated Society by a new institution. Weigh- 
ing all the probabilities, however, I think it may be 
hazarded that the real founder of the Academy, the one 
man ^thout whose co-operation the attempt would have 
^ed, was William Chambers. After the secession had 
taken place, four men formed themselves into a committee 
to concert meastu-es to put matters on a better footing. 
They prepared a scheme T^ch not only avoided the 
dangers previous experience had brought to light, but 
was such that the immediate protection of the King could 
be sought with propriety. Chambers was a successful 
architect, which means that he was an enet^etic man of 
business as well as a very considerable artist. He had 
taught the principles of architecture to the King before his 
accession, and had afterwards been appointed architect to 
his Majesty. In short, three advantages were conUiined in 



his person, the mil to approach the King, the power to do 
so, and the ability to make the best use of the oppoitunitjr. 
The other members of the quartette were West, a persona 
grata at Court, but not a man of ambition or much 
initiative ; Cotes, a good portrait painter and a sensible 
man ; and Moser, a- trustworthy hack. I do not think 
that we need doubt that Chambers was the backbone of 
the conmiittee and the moving spurit of the whole eater- 
prise up to the hour when Rejmolds was voted into the 
|«eudential chur. The only lUfficulty in the way of this 
theory is the one suggested by the question : Why, then, 
did not Chambers make Mmself the first P.R~A.., if his 
share in the enterprise had been so great ? That, as we 
shall see presently, is capable of a very simple explanation. 
To return to the committee of four. On the aStfa of 
November, 1768, a petition, or memorial, was presented 
to the King. It was ugned by twenty-two of his Majesty's 
" most dutiful subjects and servants,"* but its respon^ble 
feuners were the members of the committee, and its 
actual author, no doubt. Chambers himself. The 
lai^:uage used supports this view, and the last paragraph, 
a paragraph which calmly informs the King that he will 
be eicpected to make good any money deficiency out of 
his own purse, could only have been introduced with the 
Rt^ral sanction, a sanction that Chambers was in a better 
portion to obtain than any of his colleagues. The other 
paragraphs explain (i) that his Majesty's " most faithful 

* These were, ia the order of thui ngnaturei, Benjunin Wett, 
Fiancetco Zuccirelli, Ntthinid Dance, Richard Wilton, George Michael 
McMcr, Suunel Wale, G. B. Gpriani, Jeremiah M^er, Angelica Kanft- 
mann, Qurlea Catton, Fianceico Bartolozzi, Richard Yeo, Maiy Moaer, 
Agottino Carlini, Francis Cotet, William Chambert, Edward Peni^, 
Joseph Wilton, George Barret, Fiancii Milner Newton, Paul Sandb^, 
and Fraacu Ha^mao. The name of Jodioa VixpuMt » omipicDoiu by 



subjects, PiUQters, Sculptors, and Architects of this 
Metropolis, being desirous of establishing a Society for 
promoting the Arts of Design/* are aware that their 
scheme depends for success on his Majesty's " gracious 
assistance, patronage, and protection " ; (2) that the main 
ot^ects are two, the establishment of a well regulated 
Academy of Design and the holding of an Annual 
Exhibition ; and (3) that, in the petitioners' belief, no long 
time would elapse before the pro&ts of the Exhibition 
would pay for the schools and leave sometlung over for 

The memorial was received most graciously. The King 
intimated that he looked upon the protection of the arts 
as a duty to the Nation, and told the petitioners that they 
might count upon his asnstance. At the same time he 
asked for more information, and this Chambers was 
deputed to give.* It is evident that at this point there 
was some little hitch. The King's approval seems to have 
been provisional. He was not going to bless the new 
Academy without being quite sure that all the men of real 
importance had rallied to it. Chambers and his committee 
made out a list of some thirty names, inserting that of 
Reynolds among the rest. The King fixed a day for the 
sobimssion of the list for his approval, but Reynolds had 
been induded without his own consent, and was unwilling 
to commit himself. Northcote, who should be a good 
authority on the point, for, no doubt, he but repeats what 
Sir Joshua had told him, says that , after Edward Pemiy 
had made a fruitless attempt to bring Reynolds into the 
scheme, West called on the painter " on the same evening 
on which the whole party had a meeting, about thirty in 
number, at Mr. Wilton's house, expecting the result of 

* Report from the Coimcii of the Royal Academy to the General 
, i860. 

65 > 



Mr. West'* n^;otUtion, as the King had app<»nted the 
following morning to receive their plan, with the ntmiitu- 
tion of their officers. Mr. West remained upwards of two 
hours endeavouring to persuade Reynolds ; and at last 
prevailed so far that he ordered his coach, and went with 
Mr. West to meet the party ; and immediately on his 
entering the room they with one voice hailoi htm as 
'President.' He seemed very much affected by the 
compliment, and returned them his thanks for the high 
mark of their approbadon, but declined the honour till 
such time as he had consulted with his friends. Dr. 
Johnson and Mr. Edmund Burke, and it was not until a 
fortnight after that Reynolds gave his consent." 

Tom Taylor calls this account inconsistent both with 
the Academy records and the entries in the pocket-book 
for 1768, while Leslie prefers the story told by West to 
his biographer, Gait, to that of Northcott. And yet in 
every important particular the differences may be easily 
reconciled. West says that upon the failure of Penny 
and Moser to induce Reynolds to join the conspirators 
at Wilton's, he himself went immetUately to Ldcester 
Fields. He found that Kirby — the President of the 
Incorporated Society — had told Reynolds that no such 
deagn as the founding of a Royal Academy was in con- 
templation, and that Reynolds shrank from attending 
a caucus which had no sanction for its proceedings but its 
own. To this West replied, " As you have been told by 
Mr. Kirby that there is no intention of the kind and by me 
that there is, that even the rules are framed and the officera 
condescended on, yourself to be President, I must iimst 
on your going with me to the meeting, when you will be 
satisfied which of us deserves to be credited in diis 
business." In the end Reynolds yielded, and on his 
arrival at the meeting was received as Northcote describes. 


viscount althorp 
Earl Spenckr, K.G. 




Hic pocket-book entry, which is supposed to be tncoo- 
nttent with Northcote's story, is '* Mr. Wilton's at 6,'* 
under date 9th December, 1768. It seems to be quite as 
inconsistent with the story ttAd by West. When a man 
still requires some hours cf persuauon before he will 
consent to accept an invitation, he does not enter it 
among his engagements in that fashion. It is easy to 
recondk all discrepandes by referring the entry in ques- 
tion to an adjourned meeting, and by supponng that both 
Nortiicote and West condensed two meetings into one, the 
former pushing the events of the first occa^on into the 
second, the latter doing the reverse. In any case the 
whole scheme was finally put into writing on the 9th, and 
on the I oth of December, 1768, it was signed by the King. 

It seems to me dear that the strong man who had his 
way in the whole buuness was William Chambers. He 
knew his own mind, and possessed the rare virtue of 
knomng when to efface himself. Reynolds was the one 
artist of commanding atnllty who was sitting on the nul, 
and wuting to see whether victory would lie with the 
Incorporated Society or mth the new Academy. It was 
necessary to hold out an entidng bait to bring him down 
on the right ude, and I cannot help thinUng that while 
West was exercising his powers of persuasion in Ldcester 
Pields, Chambers was organising the shout of " Mr. Pre- 
sident " with which Wilton and his guests received the 
hoped-for recnut. 

The *' Instrument," the famous document which forms 
the constitution of the Royal Academy, and gives it a l^al 
r^ht to eidstence, was ^gned on the loth of December, 
1768. Four days afterwards, twenty-eight of the tlurty- 
fbur Academicians nominated by the King, signed a 
dedaralion of obedience and fideUty to the new institution, 
and formally elected its officers. Reynolds became Presi- 



dent, while Ac other posts seem to have been given to 
those Academicians to whom the salaries attached would 
be of moment. Moser became Keeper ; Newton, Secre- 
tary ; Penny, Professor of Punting ; Wale, Professor of 
Perspective ; and Thomas Sandby, Professor of Arclutec- 
tare. The Professor^p of Anatomy, with its stipend t^ 
thirty pounds a year, fdl to the distinguished Scot, Dr. 
'William Hunter. It was not undl everything was settled 
and conduded, and the scheme put be^nd the risk of 
miscarriage, that the King's intention to found an Academy 
of his own was allowed to leak out. The story of how 
the members of the luckless Incorpcnated Sodety learnt 
that their flank had been turned and their portion ren- 
dered untenable is well known, and has contributed more 
than anything else to the notion — not ill-founded, I must 
confess — that the birth of the Royal Academy was the 
result of intrigue. The tale has been often told, but as it 
rounds off my narrative, I may once more quote it from 

" Wbile Itii Majett}' and tbe Qaeen, at Windaor Cattle, were looking 
at West* ■ pictnre of ' R^ulni,' juit then finished, th« arrival of Mr. 
Kiib^, the New Preudent of the Incorporated Society, was announced. 
The Eing, having connlted with hii contcvt in German, adnutted hiin, 
and introdnced him to Weit, to whoK penon he wai a itranger. He 
locked at the picture, praited it warmly, and congratulated the artiit. 
Then, turning to the King, laid, ' Your Majeity never mentioned any- 
thing of thii woii to me. Who made the frame I It ii not made by 
one of youi Majesty*) wcckmcn; it ot^ht to have been made by the 
Royal carver and glider.' To thia the King calmly replied, * Kirby, 
whenever you are able to paint me rach a picture a> thii, your friend 
(hall male the frame.' ' I hope, Mr. West,' laid Kirby, ' that yon 
intend to exhibit thia ptctnre t' ' It ii painted for the palace,' said 
Weat, ' and it* exhibition mntt depend upon hia Majetty't pleasure.* 
* AuDicdly,* laid the King, ' I (hall be very hap^ to let the w»k be 
(howa to the pnbUc.' ' Then, Mr. West,' said Kirby, ' you will tend 

• LiftofWtn. 



it to my exhibttkm J ' ' No,* inteirnpted the King, ' it moit goto mf 
ezhibitioit— « tiat eftie Rtytl Jc4dtmj.' . . . The Preudeat of the 
Anociited Artint bowed with much humility, md retired." 

The interest taken by George III. in the founding of 
the Royal Academy is a little difficult to understand. His 
family had never previously shown any particular fondness 
for art or its professors, while he himself, in after yean, 
was by no means to fulfil the promise held out by these 
doings of his youth. He was, no doubt, a generous 
patron to West, while he allowed Gainsborough, Reynolds^ 
and Allan Ramsay to portray the Royal port and features. 
Otherwise he was no patron of the arts, and we are tempted 
to believe that his actions in the last weeks of 1768 must 
have been to some extent dictated by personal motives, 
which lost their force as time went on.* 

The original constitution of theRoyal Academy showed 
ugnificant traces of the way in which its foundation had 
come about. The number of Acadenudans was probably 
fixed by' analogy mth the French and other foreign bodies 
of a umilar kind ; but the fact that a membership of 
forty would include all the seceders from the Society, and 
just leave room for de^rable recruits, no doubt had its 
wdght It is idle to pretend that Chambers and his allies 

* The Members of the Incorporated Society did sot ihrink from 
innmudng that there was « penonal and private motive. The fint 
home of the Academy wai in lome roomt in Pall Mall, which afterwardi 
became the original "Chriwie'i." Dalton, the King*i Librarian, had 
bought the leaie, and narted a* a dealer in print*. The ^>ecnlatioD, 
uj* the Society*! pamphlet, " hnng heavy «i hit haadi," and he loolud 
about for other ihonldera on which to shift the reipontibility. The 
ichone of Qiamben and hiicoUeagnct gave him the chance he leqaired, 
and he nied all hit influence with the King in their tuppoit. In all this 
there may be tome element <rf truth, but the motive ii icaiccly equal to 
beaiiag the weight put upon it by the Socie^. 



were founding a parallel iostitutton to the Society. They 
meant to superaede it They saw the time was ripe for a 
real Academy, which should focus the national interest in 
art, and rear the artists of the future with the fiinds so 
obtained. Experience had shown them the stumbling 
blocks in the way of such an adventure, and these they 
avmded with consummate skill. The provisions that no 
Academician could bdong to any other sodety of artists 
in London, and that no w(vk previously exhibited publicly 
in the capital could be admitted to the Royal Academjr 
exhibition, secured to them a practical monopoly. During 
its (me hundred and thirty years of existence the Royal 
Academy has had to reust many assaults, many of them 
delivered by men who, when the chance came, were ^ad 
enough to put A.R.A. and RJV. after their names. It 
has too often invited attack by narrowness of view, and 
by a failure to justify the claim, so often made by 
painters, that only artists can understand art. It hu 
even, in certun matters which need not be specially men- 
tioned, shown a nngular conception of trusts placed upon 
it and formally accepted. And yet, as a whole, it has 
fulfilled the intenti<ms of its authora with a completeness 
to which few such institutions can show a parallel. It was 
founded to h(^ exhibitions, to give a free edncatitm to 
art students, and to relieve poverty among artists. These 
things it has done, and, on the whole, done very wdl. 
Commerdally, its success has been astonishing, while 
from the artistic standpoint it has only fiuled so far 
as everything fta[» which depends on the common 
action of many inctividuals. It would be difficult to 
name an institution, either in this country or in any 
other, which has more completely carried out the 
um of its foundation, and that with so few changes ia 
its original constitution. Chambers and his cdkagues, 


Earl Spencer, K.G. 




in short, dewnre ill the credit we can gire them for tact, 
courage and forenght 

Reyndds' share in the scheme was thoroughly character- 
istic. He took no part in the underground work which 
had to be done before the superstructure was attempted. 
That he knew something of what was gtung on, we may 
infer from his osnversation with Kirby and from the fact 
that West was able to bring him to Wilton's house to meet 
the rest of the *' cave." But otherwise he gave no ^gn, 
and reserved complete liberty of action until the bribe of 
the Presidency was actually pressed into lus palm and his 
fingers closed upon it. I do not say this in the least by 
way <^ blame, but merely to support my reading of his 
character, and to show how free he was from those 
eager enthuuasms which are supposed to go irith the 
artistic gift. His instinct was never to put his foot so far 
out that he could not readily draw it back ; I fear I must 
add that it was also against his principles to take responu- 
tuhties on himself which he could leave successfully to 
others. He filled the office of President to perfection ; 
whether he could have done equally well as an ordinary 
R.A., liable to take his turn as " hangman," visittu* in the 
schools, etc., I take leave to doubt. 

To his initiadve, however, the Academy owes some of 
its most valu^le customs. Soon after the Instrument was 
ugned, he suggested the addition of a few distingmshed 
men as honorary members. The King gave his approval ; 
and the Cambridge Professor of Greek, Dr. Francklin, 
was elected Chaplain ; Dr. Johnson, Professor of Ancient 
Literature ; Dr. Goldsmith, Professor of Ancient History ; 
and the King's Librarian, Richard Dalton, Antiquary. 
The annual dinner was another of his ideas. He proposed 
that the members should dine together in the exlubition 



rooms after the pictures were hung, itiviting a few friends 
to share their hospitality. At first the in^tations were 
sent out by Reynolds himself ; but as the function became 
[>opular and invitations eagerly sought after, he made over 
his privilqje to the Council At the same time he urged 
that private ^shes in the matter should be laid aude, and 
the guests selected in such a way that the prestige and 
weliare of the Academy might be increased. A law was 
passed restricting the invitations to " persons high in rank 
or official situation, to those distinguished for talent, and 
to patrons of art" The result was that in a very short 
time the Academy Council found Itself in the remarkaUe 
position of being obliged to weigh carefully the respective 
claims of Ambassadors, Ministers, and men of light and 
leading generally, to admission to its table. More than a 
hundred and thirty years have passed since the first dinner 
was eaten in Dalton's warehouse in Pall Mall ; and what- 
ever may be said in its disparagement as a meal or as an 
oratorical display, no one can deny that the Academy 
Banquet gives an opportunity for the most remarkable 
gathering of rank and genius now to be seen in Great 

Leslie and Taylor say that from the time the Academy 
was established Reynolds *' took the most active part in 
its organisation and guidance, both in the Council and i* 
the schools" For the statement I have put in italics I can 
find no authority. Such altruism would have been outside 
the punter's habits, and, indeed, would have profited the 
students but little. We have seen that Reynolds was a 
bad teacher, or, rather, was no teacher at all. His own 
scanty work in black and white is enough to show that, as 
a visitor, he would have been of no use whatever to a 
student struggling with the difficulties of black chalk and 
" the life." I prefer to believe that the Pre»dent confined 



himself to that part of his duties in which his wariness, 
sound judgment, and good business capacity were of 
value. For the exercise of these gifts he had plenty of 
opportunities. The Incorporated Sodety did not take its 
defeat lying down. It brought various chaiges agunst the 
new Academy, and made vigorous efforts to divert some 
of the King's patronage towards itself. The most serious 
accusation was practically one of sharp practice agiunst the 
Academy's officers. Ktrby and bis colleagues accused 
Moaer of having tricked the Society out of the collection 
of casts belongii^ to the St. Martin's Lane School, which 
included those inherited by Hogarth from Sir James 
ThomhiU. However brought about, this was a shrewd 
stroke of policy, for it secured the Apostolic succession^ it 
the phrase may be allowed, to the Royal Academy, and 
held it up as the legitimate heir to the private institution in 
wluch so many Ei^Ush artists had been trained. The 
members of the Society also accused the " Junto," as they 
called the Academicians, of "intriguing, cabaUing, and 
deception ; and went through the form of expelling them 
from thrir body after they had left it."* They took a 
room over the Cider Cellar, in Maiden Lane, and set up an 
academy of their own. They also petitioned the King for 
his protection and patronage, recuving in answer the 
assurance that the Royal favour should be extended to both 
bodies alike, and that the Kii^ would visit both their 
exhibitions. Of course it was all in vun. The " cave ** 
included all the men of real ability, and it worked under a 
sounder constitution. As it throve, its rival lost prestige 
and prosperity, until, but a few years after that fatal 

* Letlie and Ta)rIoi ; fee alM 7S( Cm^t tf tit Rtysl AcMitaaetMt 
wBit Mtmbtrt *fttt InetrfemtJ Stcitlj tfJrttm »f Great Britmn, viz^ 
fitm tit year i-}6alothtirtxf»iHfi in tityear ij6^mti jmt f*rt ^drir 
tnmiMditm sbKt. i2mo. London, 177 1. (Britith Miueam.) 



loth of December* it finally gave up the ghosL Meanwhile, 
however, its endeavours to blame the Academy for all its 
misfntuoes must have provided Reynolds with many 
c^iportunities for the exercise of his statesmanship. Many 
of the Council meetings reox-ded in the pocket-book for 
1 769 were given to the making of dispositions for meeting 
the Society's attacks, and the schools were leffc to the 
supervision of the Keeper and the viators.* 

The first important acts of the new Academy were 
directed to accentuating its connection with the old drawing 
school in St. Martin's Lane. At a meeting of the Council 
on 30th January, 1 769, it was resolved that the subscribers 
to the latter body should be admitted, irithout subscription 
or test, to the current season, which was thus declared to 
be a continuation of the session begun in St. Martin's Lane 
in the pre^ous autumn. New students were required to 
pass a test, as before. Preparations were b^un at the same 
time for the exhibition ; this, it was resolved, should be 
opened on the 26th of April and closed on the 27th of 
May. It was also determined that the annual course of 
lectures should b^n in October ; and, in short, measures 
were taken generally for the starting of the whole of that 
academic machinery which has been working steadily ever 

Before this, however, the Academidans had performed 
a graceful duty, which is of more immediate interest to the 
bic^rapher of Reynolds. At a general meeting held on 
the 17th of January they had passed an unanimous vote of 
thanks to their President for a proceeding of his own by 
wluch the new enterprise had obtained a valuaUe publicity. 

* llie firtt lin of Tiuton wai m fcdlowi : — Cirlini, Cattoo, CiprUni, 
Dance, HtTinan, Toms, Weit, Wibon, and Znccirelli. It it notable 
that, with the exception of Mejer, the enameller, and Bartolozzi, the 
engtaver, thit lin inclodei all the male Academiciana of foreign birth. 



On the and of Jsnuary Reyndds had delivered the first 
of his aow fiunous Discourses, and had iiuugurated a custom 
iriiich has since reached the force of lav. In a future 
ch^>ter it will be necessary to conuder the Discourses at 
some length, for not only hare they had great influence on 
opimon, they also contun the best evidence we possess both 
as to the mental capadty of Reynolds and the state of art 
critidam at the time he wrote. Here it is enough to say 
that the initial Discourse was introductory and apologetie ; 
it sets out the views of those who had founded the 
Academy, and attempts to justify their action. The 
IKscourse bears marks of haste, llie Academy had only 
been three weeks in existence when it was ddivered. To 
a practised writer, who has been in the habit of feeling his 
way back from phenomena to principles, and putting hi* 
conclusions into lucid words, twenty-three days would, of 
coarse, be more than enough for the compo^tion of such 
an address. But Reynolds was in a difierentpontion. He 
had enjoyed little training as a writer ; he was embarldng 
on a subject to which comparatively slight attention had 
been given in Eng^d ; he himself was an experiment, and 
most have felt on his trial ; and, lastly, among the friends 
sriio would listen critically to what he had to say were the 
best writers of hb age. Add to all this the other demands 
on his time, and we need feel no surprise that none of the 
leading thoughts in his first address are prosecuted to thdr 
conclusion, and that, as a whole, it lacks a sound Ic^cal 

The real sanctions for the foxmding of the Royal 
Academy were two : FuBtly, it was inevitable ; the situation 
had ** taken chaige:" Secondly, the founders saw and did 
their best to avoid the errors which had spoilt previous 
attempts, both here and abroad. 



Academies of Arc have &llen into disrepute all over 
Europe through one great initial mistake ; they have, one 
and all, attempted to teach arl. It may seem, primd faae, 
unreasonable to restnct an institution from dmng what 
appears to be implied in its very title, but a little thought 
will be enough to show that the above sentence is not such 
a paradox as it sounds. An artist is one who has some- 
thing to say, some emotion to express, in punt, or marble, 
or whatever other material he may select. The emotion 
must be radically his own, and sincere, for otherwise it 
cannot possibly lead to the organic congruity which 
means creation. How is such a quality to be taught ? 
It must be there, potentially, from the beginning, and all 
the teacher can do is to enable its fortunate possessor to 
use it. The true business of an academy is to train its 
students in the use of their tools, and in nothing whatever 
else. The painter's bu^ness at a school is to learn ( i ) how 
to draw correcdy, (2) how to paint as he wants to, and (3) 
how to so select and marshal his materials that they may 
express the pasuon he has within him. The rest is not 
matter for teaching at all, unless, indeed, you wish to throw 
oiF swarms of sham artists, who will bear the same relation 
to real ones that a rhetorician does to a poet. ** Academic 
art " — the very phrase contains a proof of what has ju»t 
been said. What does it mean, except art that has been 
taught, and is therefcM« insincere, wluch Is tantamount to 
sa]nng it is not art at all ? The vice of all foreign academies 
lies in their non-rccc^nition of this vital [mnciple. They 
have all, in their time, taught their pupils not only how to 
punt, but what to paint, and have made their rewards 
depend on matters which lie outnde their province. The 
founders of our Royal Academy were the first to see diis 
nustake, and avoid it. They made thur.teaching arrange- 
ments in such a way that the student was practically fnccd 


Earl Si'encbr, K.G. 




to keep his independeace, and to choose hts own line of 
development. The instruction was put into the hands of 
the whole body of Academicians, who taught in rotation, 
so that no single man could obtain such control as would 
substitute his own personality for that of his pupil. I am 
well aware that at the present moment this method of 
instruction is under a cloud, and that its demerits seem 
more obvious to the young artists of to-day than its 
advantages. But that, I think, is due to matters not of 
principle but of acddent. The schools of Paris are more 
popular than those conducted by our Academy, not because 
they work on better lines, but because their personnel is 
more efficient. French artists draw better, and are better 
eqmpped in other ways, than their English rivals ; and so, 
as teachers, they can set higher technical standards, and do 
more to help their pupils over the initial difficulties. If 
French technical efficiency could be combined with our 
better arrangements for safeguardingascholar'spersonality, 
we might have the ideal Academy. 

The first home of the Royal Academy was in a building 
in Pall Mall, immediately adjoining old Carlton House. 
It had once been Lamb's Auction Rooms, but, when the 
Academy took it, was in the occupation of Dalton, the 
King's Librarian and Keeper of the Prints, as a print ware* 
house. It afterwards became the [^ce of business of 
Christie, the founder of the great firm of auctioneers. The 
Academy exhibitions were held there for eleven years, 
until, in 1 7 80, they were installed io the new palace in the 
Strand, which Chambers had been rearing on the site of 
old Somerset House. The King had granted rooms in the 
old palace to the Academy, to be used as offices and lecture 
rooms, some nine years before. 




NHE ten years which followed the founda- 
' tioa of the Royal Academy were the 
I buuest and most characteristic in the life 
of Reynolds. His sttten, indeed, were 
not so numerous as they had been in 
^ the sixties, but he nude up for the 
falling off by turning his attention to fancy pictures, 
which at this time rapidly increase in number. Outside 
his art, his interests widen prodigiously. He takes every 
opportunity of extending his acquuntance among people 
c^ light and leading, as well as among those irresponsible 
amusers of society who are to the lighters and leaders 
what cotton-wool packing is to a gem. We find him 
member of many clubs, and a candidate for Almack's. 
He frequents Vauxhall, the I^theon, Mrs. Cornely's. 
He is a regular first-nighter, in days when first-nights 
were more frequent than they are now, in ^ite of the 
short tale of theatres. He steers with remarkable skill in 
and out among political dangers and animo^ties, punting 
Mrs. Trecothick, the rebel Lady Mayoress, at 2, and King 
George, at 4, on the same day, and collecting the most 
incongruous Parliamentary personalities at his table mth- 
out disaster. He floats, in short, above the arena of poli- 
tical, moral, and social prejudice, attaching himself to his 



land through the undeniable verities of human nature, 
and ^ving perhaps the best example we Britons can pcHnt 
to of the just, kindly, and imperturbable ^otat. 

Reynolds became " Sax Joshua " at the leree held at St. 
James's on the 2ist of April, 1769. The first Exhibition 
<^the Royal Academy vas opened five days later, oa the 
36th. The total number of pictures exhitnted was 136, 
which is exactly the number contained in the first two 
rooms at Burlington House in this present year of 1900. 
In ^ite of the modest extent of the show, the motto on 
the title-page of the catalogue — Nova ksruu kascitur 
oaDo — ^was justified. The room was always crowded, 
and even the street outride was often impassable through 
the wuting carriages and footmen, and the people presring 
to get in. Sir Joshua's contributions were the " Duchess of 
Manchester and her son, as Diana disarming Cupid,"* 
" Mrs. Blake {tiie Bunbury) as Juno recrinng the cestus 
from Venus,"t " Miss Morris, as Hope nursing Love>"^ 
and the fiunous group, " Mrs. Bourerie and Mrs. Crewe,'* 
now at Crewe Hall. According to Northcote, the other 
[nctures round which the visitors dilefly congr^ted were 
Gainsborough's " Lady Molyneux " ; Hone's " Pi{Hng 
Boy," a small canvas now in the Irish National Gallery ; 
Angelica Kauffmann's ** Hector and Andromache," and 
** Venus Trith MatM and Achates *' ; West's " Regulus," 
and •* Venus lamenting Adonis " ; Cotes' "Hebe," "Duke 
of Gloucester," and *' Boy playing Cricket " ; Penny's 
" Scene from ' King John ' " ; Barret's " Penton Linn," 
a beautiful ^te in liddesdale; Cijuiani's "Annunciation"; 
Mid Dance's portraits of Geoi^ III. and Queen Charlotte. 
It is not an exdting list, and yet twenty-nine thousand 
people were attracted in a single month. Of the Sir 

* In the poMcanon of the Duke of Maachctter. 
t At Buton, BD17 St. EdmuiKiU. t At Bowood. 




Joshuas, the finest at the time was probably the group of 
the two beaudful women now at Crewe. Time has not 
been kind to it, but when first painted it must hare 
glowed like a gem, while in arrangement it is happier 
than most of its author's attempts to combine two por- 
traits on a single canvas.* The pathetic story of Miss 
Morris is well known. She was the daughter of a Q>loiual 
Governor, who died and teit his widow and ctuldren 
penniless. She tried the stage, appearing as Juliet at Covent 
Garden, but was overcome by weakness and stage fiight* 
and her career was confined to a sit^le performance. She 
was ntting to Reynolds as a model at the same time. But 
consumption was upon her, and she died of a rapid de- 
cline while her picture was han^ng on the Academy walls. 
Sir Joshua repeated the composition more than once. 

JjThe year 1769 was one of the most sociable of Sir 
Joshua's life. The list of sitters is very short ; it indudes 
only seventy-seven appointments altogether. On the other 
hand the dinners are frequent, and some have become 
famous. It was apparently in 1769 that the punter's phy- 
sician. Dr. Baker, gave his party for the Hornecks, and 
drove Goldsmith into that protest agunst lus belated invi- 
tation which throws such a genial beam of light on the 
Reynold^an circle. ** Little Comedy," " the Jessamy 
Bride," and *' the Capt^n in Lace " henceforth hang in the 
short but delightful gallery of Goldsmith's portraits. Sir 
Joshua dines often this year irith Wilkes, Goldsmith, the 
Hornecks, the Nesbitts, the Bastards, Dr. Baker, and 
Dr. FranckUn. He has engagements, too, with Ixntl 

* On a tombitoae in the background RcTiioldi lia> writt^ " £t in 
Arcadia Ego." The thonght came not from Gnercino, ai Tom Taylot 
inppotei, but fiom the fimoni PooHin now in the honne, in which 
(ome happ7 thepheids and thepheideuei aie grouped aboat a tomb 
bearing the lame word*. 



Sir Henry Bunbury, Bart. 






Chariemont^Mr. Hoole,Lord Ossory, the Dukeof Grafton, 
Dr. Markham (Dean of Christ Church), Dr. Hinchclife 
(Master of Trinity), and Dr. Hawkesworth ; with the 
Nugents, the Burkes, and Lord Robert Spencer ; also with 
more of his brother painters than usual, the favourites 
being, curiously enough, two who had avoided the aca- 
demic fold, Ramsay and Hudson. It was in the autumn, 
on the 1 6th of October, that he formed one of the party 
at Boswell's rooms in Old Bond Street, and met the famous 
bloom-coloured coat. Besides Sir Joshua and Goldsimth, 
the guests included Johnson, Garrick, Arthur Murphy, 
Isaac Bickerstafie, and Tom Davies. The memory of this 
diimer ought to live for ever were it only for Boswell's 
picture of Garrick and Johnson. " Garrick played around 
him with a fond vivacity, taking hold of the breasts of his 
coat, and, looking up in his face urith a lively archness, 
complimented him on the good health which he seemed 
then to enjoy ; while the sage, shaking his head, beheld 
him with a gentle complacency." What a sketch it is I 
Worth all the wonderful report of the night's talk which 
follows. A few days after the dinner came the catastrophe 
of Baretti, who was put on his trial for murder at the Old 
Bailey. After his acquittal Sir Joshua obtuned for him 
the dignified but unpaid post of Secretary for Foreign 
Correspondence to the Royal Academy, while Johnson 
persuaded the Thrales to engage him as resident tutor to 
thor children. 

About four years before this time Reynolds had made 
the acquaintance of Barry, who had been imported from 
Cork through the generosity of Burke. At first the two 
men had got on well together. Barry was warm in pr^se 
of Sir Joshua's art, while Sir Joshua seems to have taken a 
quite unusual interest in Barry's preparations for a career. 
The time was to come when the President would confess 



that if he hated uijr nun it was Barr^ , but in the early 
yean of their relationB they seem to hive fbrmed a Ihtte 
•odety for mutual admiration, and certainly Reynolds took 
more trouble to advise the young Irishman and to keep 
him in the way he should go, than he did in the case of 
any one else. A letter was written to Barry at Rome by 
Sir Joshua in this year, 1769, which must be quoted fc«- 
the light it throws on the rdations between the two : 

"Dub Sn, 

" I am TOf nucb obliged to 70a for youi lemeubnuice 
of me in jronr letter to Mr. Bode, which, thon^ I bm read with great 
pleamre u a comporitioa, I cannot kelp ttjing, with lome regret to find 
that 10 great a potion of jront attention hai been engaged upon 
tcmporuy matttn, which might hare been lo mnch more pnfitabljr 
emplojred npon what would itick hy yon throngh 7001 whole life. 

" Whoever ia renlved to excel in piindng, of indeed in taj other art, 
muK bring all hii mind to bear npoo that one object, from the moment 
hs riiet till he goei to bed. The effect of tmy object that meeti the 
paintei'i <je maj give him a le*ion, ptonded hii mind i* calm, nn- 
embarraued with other object*, and open to inttmction. Thii general 
attention, with other nndiet connected with the art, which mutt empkij 
die artiit in hit doaet, will be found nifficient to fill np life, if it were 
much longer than it i*. Were I in jaai place, I ihonid coniider m^idf 
pb^ijig a great game, and never niSer the little malice and envjr of n^ 
rivaU to draw off m^ attention from the main object, which, if 70a pnr- 
tue with a atead/ eje, it will not be in the power of all the ciceronea in 
the world to hnrt you. While they are endeaTonring to prevent the 
gentlemen from empkying the jaaag artiita, inctead of injnring ttiym ^ 
iJiey are, in my opinion, doing them the greateat aervice. Whilat I waa 
at Rome I wa> very little employed by them, and that I alwaja con- 
sidered at 10 much time loat ; copying thote ornamental picturei which 
the travelling gentlemen alwaji biing home with them at furniture for 
their honiet, ii far from being the mott profitable manner of a itudent 
■pending hit time. 

" Whoever hat great views, I would recommend to him, whiltt at 
Rome, rather to live on bread and water than lose those advantages 
which he can never hope to enjoy a tecond time, and which he frill find 
<mly in the Vatican, where, I will engage, no cavalier sends his imdents 
to copy for him. Idonotmean this as any reproach to the gentlemoi I 



^ worfcl io dut pkce, tltongh they are ibe proper itndy (rf an ante, 
nuke but as tnAwaid figure painted in oil and tcdaced to the aise of 
eaiel pictoKt. The CapelU Siitina is the prodncdon of the greatest 
gcnini that wai em employed in the aiti ; it I< worth coniidciing hj 
what prindplea that atapendoui greatnesa of i^le ii piodnced, and 
endeaTOOiing to prodnce (omethisg of fonz own on thote phnciplei mil 
be t more adTantageoni method d rndy than coj^iog the St. Cecilia 
m the Bcoi^eie, or the Herodiaa ot Gnido, which may be copied to 
e i e mity withont contributing one jot towards making i man a more 
able painter. 

"If yon neglect visiting the Vatican often, and particiilarly the 
Capella Sistina, yon will neglect receiving that peculiar advants^ which 
Rome can give above all other dtiet in the world. In otha places yon 
win find casts fmn the antiqne and capital i^ctniea of the great maiteta, 
l«t h is titn cmJj that you can form an idea of the dignity of the art, 
M it is there imly that yon can lee the vmrki of Michehngeh> and 
|^«ff«i>ll* If yoQ should not relish them at fint, which may probably 
be the case, as they have none d those qualities which are captivating 
at first sight, never cease looking till yon feel lomething like inspiradoa 
come over yon, till yon think every other painter insipid in comparison, 
and to be admired only for petty excellences. 

" I snppoae yon have heard of the establishment of a Royol Academy 
here; the first opportunity I have I mil send yon the Discourse I 
delivered at its opening, which was the fim of Jannary. As I hope yon 
win be hereafter one of our body, I wish yon would, as opportunity 
often, make memorandums of the regulation! of the academiea that yoo 
may visit in yonr travels, to be engrafted on onr own if they should be 
found useful. 

" I am, with the greatest esteem, yonn, 


" On reading my letter over, I think it requires some apology for the 
bhmt appearance of a dictatorial style, is which I have obtruded my 
advice. I am forced te write in a great huny, aitd have little time for 
polishing my s^le." 

Another letter with no signature whatever was found 
among Barry's papers after his death. Northcote believed 
it to have been written by Burke and Reynolds jcnntly, 



but the opinions are scarMly such as to require two mea 
to formulate them : 

** Portnit paintitig mzj be to the painter what the piacdol knowledge 
<A the world it to the poet, prorided he considen it ai a ichool by whidi 
he is to acqnire the duomi of perfectioa in hit irt, and not as the ilyta 
of that perfection. It wu practical knowledge of the world which gare 
the poeti7 of Homer and Shakipeaie that aupeiiority which itOl exiit> 
orer all other works of the ume kind, and it was a philoaophical attendon 
to the imitation of common nature, which portriut painting ought to be. 
that gave t^e Roman and Bolognese schools thui laperiorit^ orer the 
Florentine, which eicelled so mnch in the theory of the arts." 

The general tone of these letters si^gests that Barry was 
indebted to Reynolds, as well as Burke, for more than good 
advice. I can find no direct evidence that the President 
hdped the student with funds, but it was inconsistent with 
his character to write thus to one who was under no obli- 
gation to listen. Barry, of course, profited nothing by 
Sir Joshua's solidtude. Nature had deprived him of all 
capacity for taking advice, or, indeed, for seeing any path 
but that marked out by his own narrow perceptions and 
truculent will. 

The year 1770 was one of the least remarkable in Sir 
Joshua's punting career. In the political world it was 
stormy enough, and much of his attention may have been, 
given to the adventures of his friends in the Government 
and Opposition. It was the year of "Wilkes and 
liberty," of Beckford's riplique to the King, of the for- 
mation of the ministry which was to lose the American 
colonies. Political events may account for the complete 
absence of statesmen from his punting-room. The appoint- 
ments for portnuts entered in the pocket-book only- 
number forty-four, and, if we except the King, the sitters 
do not include a ^ngle political personage. The Exhiln- 
tion opened on the 24th of April. Sir Joshua's contribu- 



tioos were Lord Sydney and Colonel Adand as archers ;* 
Mrs. Bouverie and child ;t Miss Price ;} LadyComwallis ;$ 
Johnson;! Goldsmith \% George Cobnan;** and "The 
Babes in the Wood."tt It was in this Exlufaition of 1770 
that Gunsborough was " beyond himself in a portrait of a 
gentleman in a Vandyke habit," JJ which I think may be 
iden^ed, beyond reasonable doubt, with the ** Blue 'Boy" 
ZoflRuiy's Garrick as Abel Drugger was also at this year's 
Exhibition. Mary Moser, whose phrase I have quoted 
above, also teUs us that the Garrick was bought by Sir 
Joshua for one hundred guineas, but that he resigned his 
purchase to Lord Carlisle, pasnng on the conuderation of 
twenty guineas to the painter. " He is a gentleman ! " is 
her comment. 

The Exhibition closed on the 26th of May, and on 
the same day the ** Deserted Village " was published, mth 
its dedication to Reynolds. It was a pity the publication 
did not come a little sooner, when Sir Joshua's portrut of 
Goldsmith might have gathered a little court about It In 
die Academy rooms. It is one of the best known and 

* la the poHCMion of the Eul of Canurrcm. 

t In the pouemos of IJie Eul of Radnoi. 

t Het daughter, Francei Muy, married Junec, and Marqnett of 
Saliibni^. Tlie pictnie ii now at Hatfield. 

f la the poMcttion of the Earl of St. Gcrmani. 

II In the Dnke of Satherland'i collection, at Trentbam. 

4 In the Doke of Bedf<Mrd'i collection, at Wohun. 

** Tie propci^ of Sir Henij Hawle^, Bt. 

tt In Letlie and Taylor and alio in the catalt^me of Giavet and 
Craun, there leemi to be lome coofnuon over thii picture. The 
original " Babet in the Wood " appean to have come into the pooeuton 
of Lord Palmenton, from whote collection it paised throagh the handi 
g( Mr. Onrper-Temple, Mr. Evelyn Aahley, and Mesm. Agnew and 
Sena, to Mr. T. N. McFadden. 

Xt Maiy Moict'i letter to Fiueli, then in Rome. For the aigumenu 
CIO which the identificaticm of thii picture with the " Bine B07 ** it 
founded, *ee the pretent writer*! *< Gainiborongh," pp. iii^is^* 



most sympathetic of all lus works. The oiigitul {ncCure, 
painted for Thnle, is now at Wobum. A good rep^tion 
is at KncJe, and a fine old studio copy in the National 
Gallery of Ireland. The taste of Reynolds was never 
better shown than here. He has pointed Goldsmith with- 
out any x£ the adventitious frippery which in his case 
so fatally obscured the real man. He wears no wig, 
and his dress is lu) bloom-coloured coat, but a loose 
wrapper with folds thrown according to the painter's 
fuicy. It is tiie author of the " Vicar ** and the '* De- 
serted Wlage," not the client of Mr. Jdin FUby in Wider 
Lane, that we see. 

In the autumn of 1770 Sir Joshua paid a short vistto 
York, and a comparatively long one to his native coun^. 
He left London on the 7th of September, and returned on 
the 14th of the foUomng month. His diary shows that 
in the interval he visited Wilton, Mount Edgcumbe, 
Saltram, and Mamhead, as well as Dorchester, ^dprart, 
Axminster, Plympton, Plymouth Dock, and £»ter. 
Many entries refer to sport On the nth c^ September 
he is up at seven, to hunt. On the 13th, 15th, and aist 
the entry is repeated. At that time of the day and year it 
must have been cub-hunting. On the 14th he shot par- 
tridges, and at Saltram he was induced to back himself 
for five guineas in a match with one Mr, Robinson, " to 
shoot ^th Mr. Treby's bullet gun at 100 yards distance ; 
and a sheet of paper to be put up, and the person who 
shoots nearest the centre wins." The wording of the bet 
shows that entering wagers was not unong Sii Joshua's 

Sir Joshua was again in London on the 14th of October. 
He did not return alone. His niece Theophila, the second 
daughter of his widowed sister, Mrs. Palmer, travelled 
vrith him, to live in his house with but a few short intervals. 


DuKB OF Leinstek 




until she became the wife of Mr. Gwatkin. Her elder 
sister, Maiy, afterwards Countess of Inchiquin and 
Marduooess €^ Thomond, was to follow three years 
later, and in the end to becx>me her uncle's heir. The 
onljr other event belonging to this year which need be 
noticed is the first (^tribution of Academy medals, on the 
nth of December, when Reynolds delivered his third 
discourse. Out of the eleven medallists two, both sculptors, 
aiWwards became distit^uished in their profession ; they 
were Bacon and Flaxman. 

Thelist of sitters for 1771 is i^un very short, although 
rather longer than in 1770. It cont^ns wcty-seven 
i^tpcxntmoits altt^ether. Roniney — the " man in Caven- 
£sh Square " — as, we are told, Reynolds would call him 
in moments of irritation — was beginning to divide the 
patronage of the town. Northcote tells us roundly that 
after Romney came into feshion, Sir Joshua was not much 
employed, but this seems to be an exaggeration. There is 
no doubt, however, that the two men were in a sense 
pitted agunst each other. *' The town," said Thurlow, 
" is divided into two factions ; I am of the Romney 
Action." To the writers of fifty years ago it seemed 
absurd that any one could have hesitated for a moment 
between the pair, but to us, who know Romney better, 
and have had so many opportunities of admiring his finest 
ttungs, the preference seems not so strange. Romney's 
native gift was not inferior to Sir Joshua's, his sense of 
female beauty was even greater, while his methods of 
ocecution were infinitely sounder and more honest — ^if I 
may be pardoned the word. In 1771 Romney had only 
hem two years in London, but he had already pointed 
many portnuts and had established himself in the same 
street as Reynolds. Four years later, when he returned 
from his stay in Italy and took the house In Cavendish 



Square, the actiul riralry began, and the two ran thdr 
nedc and neck race for public favour. 

Perhaps the real causes of ^ Joshua's comparatiTe 
idleness were the political ferments of the time, which 
drew men's attention firom other matters, and his own 
preference of ease and competence before hard work and 
a mountain of guineas. Certun it is that as his ntters 
fidl oiF, his social engagements of every kind increase. 
He multiplies his dubs, his dinners, his viuts to Carhsle 
House and Vauxhall, until we feel tempted to put the 
Quaker's question, "Friend, when dost thee tliink?" 
Certainly not at home I For there his hospitality was of 
that informal kind which makes it imposnble for a man 
to keep his house to himself. He never records the 
names of his own guests. It would, indeed, have been 
difficult to do so, for his habit seems to have been to order 
dinner for half-a-dozen, and then to have invited every 
one he met during the day, until the party reached twice that 
number. In his preface to the Poetical Review of Dr. 
Johnson's Character y Moral and literary ^ by John Courte- 
nay. Sir James Mackintosh quotes the fdlomng descrtpdon 
of the Ldcester Fields hospitafity, which Courtenay 
himself, a frequent guest of Sir Joshua's, had given 
him: — 

"There wai lometlung lingular in the it}^ and economj of Sic 
Jothna't table that contributed to pleaiantiy and good htunoor ; a coane 
indegaat plenty, withont any regard to order and amngemenb A table, 
prepared for Kvenor eight, wu often compelled to costain fifteen or az- 
teen. When thii pretiing dtfficnlty wai got over, a deficiency of knrret, 
forb,platei,andgla*ieiincceeded. The attendance wai in the lame atyle ; 
and it waa abtolstely neceiiaiy to call initantly for beer, bread, or vine, 
that jon might be npplied with them before the fint coune waa over. 
He ini once pvrailed on to fnmlih the table with decanten and gUne* 
at dinner, to lave time, and prevent the tardy nunaeniret of two or three 
occational, nndiicipUned, dometcio. Ai tluie accelerating nteniiliwere 
demoliihed ia the coone of (ervice. Sir Jothua conld neTer be pemaded 



to iv^Moe tliem. But theie trifiing embamNmenti oniy (erred to 
enhance the hilarity and ringnlar pleuare of the entertainment. The 
wine, cooktty, and diihei were but little attended tt) ; nor was the fleih 
or Teniion ever talked of or recommended. Amidit thit conTivial ani- 
mated bnitk among the gneiti, our hoit lat perfectly composed ; alwaji 
■tteaUTe to what wai uid, never minding what wu eat or drank, but 
left every one at perfect liberty to scramble for hinuelf. Temporal and 
■piritaal peers, physicians, lawyers, acton, and musicians ccmiposed the 
motley group, and played thor paiti without dissonance or discard. At 
five o'clock precisely dinner was served, whether all the irtvited goests 
were arrived or not. Sir Joshua was never so fashionably ill-bred u to 
wait an hour perhaps for two or three persons of rank or title, and put 
the rest of the company out of humour by this invidious distinction. 
His friends and intimate actjuaintance will ever love his memory, and 
will regret tluse social hours, and the cheeriulnesi of that irregnlar, con- 
rivial table, which no one has attempted to revive or imitate, or indeed 
was qualified to supply." 

" Is it possible to believe that the man who thus enter- 
tained was a cold and ungenial being, equable, chiefly 
because he felt nottung and cared for nobody ? I think 
we may take Goldsmith's affection, and the Lucester 
Square dinner, if we had no other evidence, as conclunve 
:^ainst the theory of Sir Joshua's character." Such is 
Taylor's comment* on Courtenay's description and its 
ngnificance. ^t /excuse, s'accuse, a maxim which may 
as fairly be applied to a man's advocate as to himself. 
Cold and ungenial Reynolds could not^ of course, have 
seemed to acquaintances. His manner, no doubt, was 
genial enough, wlule the want of root in his benevolence, 
his incapacity to feel deeply the pain and joy of others, 
would be an aid rather than a hindrance in his r61e of 
neutral between the conflicting pas«ons of his sharply 
contrasted friends. 

Sir Joshua's engagements this year include dinners mth 
Lord Melbourne, Lord Palmerston, Garrick, Colman, 

' Leslie and Taylor, Vd. i. p. 384. 



Lord Delaww, Mr. Lock of Norbury Park, Mr. Pwker, 
Mr. Fitzhert}ert, Mrs. Cholmondeley, and, on Bcveral 
occauons, with a new friend. Major Mills.* In Ma^, he 
dines with the CumbcrUnda, and this, as TtHn Taylw 
sa^;etts, may be the dinner recorded by the dramatist, 
when Reynolds reproached Johnson with his eleven cups 
of tea, and the lexio^ntpher retorted with, ** Sir, I did 
not count your glasses of mne, why should yow number 
up my cups of tea ? " Not the only hint we get that Sir 
Joshua was fond of his glass. 

As for the studio occupations in this year, 1771, the 
list of appinntments includes many such entries as ''child,** 
"boy," "old mao," "^yptian," "GeOTge White (the 
paviour who sat for Ugolino and other figures),** nde by 
ude with " Miss Kennedy," '* Mrs. Abington," " Mrs. 
Badddey," " Lady Wald^rave," "Sir Charles Bunbury," 
" Bartoloxzi," &c The ** Ugolino," which was to fill so 
much of his time and give him so much trouble before it 
was finished, was b^un, and probably accounts for most 
of the models above quoted. The best fruits of the year, 
however, were the portraits of Lady Waldegrave, already 
Duchess of Gloucester, although the world was not to 
know it until twelve months later, of Mrs. Badddey, of 
Mrs. Abington — the picture lately in the collection of 
Lord Carrington — and of Folly Kennedy. The last- 
named picture has recently migrated from Barton, where 
it hung so long, to Clieveden. It was finished during the 
months when the frail but good-hearted Polly was in agony 
over the misfortunes of her two brothers, condemned to 

* CmnbcrUnd deicribes Milli ai " Cc^Iectiag abont him a couideT" 
■ble retort of men of wit and learning, at no other expente on hn part 
than that of the meat and drink which th^ connuned." Wtat mote 
did Cumberland want i Would he have had Milb fee hii guetti for 
theii compan7 ? 



Earl or Crbwe 




dead) for the killing of a watchman^ one ^gby, in a braid 
in Westminster, in the first weeks of 1771. The story, 
with its more or less happy ending, is told in detail by 
Leslie and Taylor.* The portrait seems a good instance of 
Kr Joshua's readiness to give a certain apropos to his concep- 
tions. The girl's expres»on is one of tenuon and anxiety; 
she holds a handkerchief away from her face as if a sudden 
gleam c^ hope had interrupted a long fit of weeping. The 
pcntrait was a commisuon from Sir Charies Bunbury, to 
whom ^ Joshua writes in September, 1770 : — 

** I have finisboi the fk« very much to my own satis- 
faction. It has more grace and dignity than anything I 
have erer done, and it is the best coloured. As to the 
dress, I should be glad it might be left undetermined till 
I return from my fortnight's tour. When I return I will 
try different dresses. The Eastern dresses are very rich 
and have one sort of dignity ; but 'ds a mock dignity in 
comparison of the simplicity of the antique, &c." The 
last sitting was given in January, 177 1, when Miss 
Kennedy's persevering fight had been so hr successfiil 
that she had at least saved her brothers' lives. 

The frictures sent this year to the Academy t^ Sir 
Joshua were : — " Venus chiding Cupid for learning to cast 
accounts,"! "Nymph and Bacchus,"^ "Reading Girl 
(Oflfy Palmer, absorbed in * Clarissa '),"% "An Old Man 
(White the paviour),"B "Portrait of Mrs. Abington,"f 
and**Portrut of a gentleman," — unidentified. Sr Joshua's 
prvt^it Barry, sent his first contribution, the " Adam and 

• Vd. i. pp. 394-398- 

t Wai in ^ cidlectioii of the bte Eail of Chulemont, 
t Belongi to the Hon. W. F, B. MuK^-Mumrariiig. 
f Wm in the collection of Mr. John Hengh. 
II Burnt in the fire It Belvoir Caitle, 1816. 
% Bebngt to Mi. Quilc* Wertheimei. 



Eve," now in the Victoria and Albert Museum. There 
were seven Gainsboroughs, and West was represented hy 
the famous " Death of Wolfe." The catalogue runs to 
a total of 276 numbers, or rather more than the first three 
rooms at Burlington House am now disfday. The well- 
known print by Earlom, after Brandoin represents this 
year's ExhiMtion. In it Barry's picture occupies the 
place of honour, while ^ Joshua's " Venus and Cu[Md " 
is at one side. 

It was in 1771 that Sir Joshua added to his hoiisehold 
the only pupil* whose name is still remembered. James 
Northcote was a fellow-countryman of his own. He was 
bom at nymouth in 1746. His father, a watehmaker, 
kept him at his own trade until he had grown to man- 
hood. When he was twenty-five, having, I suppose, 
acquired some little smattering of the rudiments of 
art, he escaped to London, and shortly afterwards found 
himself in some sort a pu[nl of Reynolds. He lived in 
the Leicester Fields house for five years ; then he prac- 
tised for two years as a portrut painter, saved some 
money, and made the voyage to Italy, where he stayed 
two years. In 178 1, he finally established himself in 
London, where he lived and punted for half a century, 
dying in July, 1831, at the age of eighty-five. As the 
best source of information on one nde of Sir Jo^ua's 
career, Northcote can never cease to be of interest, but 
even as a punter he does not deserve to fall into abscdute 
oblivion. His tustorical " machines " are poor enough, 
but his few portraits have merit, and many of his K>{»es 

* 8«Teri1 f inxnu puntert paned throii^h Sir }(Mlraa*> imdlo, Tunm 
and Lawrence among them. But tlieii stay wu to aHort and thai 
idatJ M ii with their matter 10 ali^t, that it would be miileading to call 
tti yiii> hii papila. 




from Reynolds now make a brave show over the name of 
Sir Joshua himself.* 

At Barton, Sir Joshua's own " Master Bunbuiy " hangs 
in the same house as Northcote's copy. If the former 
perished, the latter would recall its beauties, although a 
trained eye could not mistake it for an original Reynolds. 
Northcote's time in Ldcester Fields passed happily enough. 
He was a persona grata with Miss Reynolds, who enjoyed 
his talk, we are told, and the sound of the west country 
burr. Whether Reynolds himself would have been 
pleased had he known to what an acute observer he was 
giving houseroom, is not so certain. 

* Northcote'i appearincewtu remaAable. Faaeli laid he wu like a 
rat «4uch had Ken a cat ; and Hajdon, a brother Deroniaa, gim a 
cniicrni accotmt of hia nunnen and home ; — 

" He lived at 39, Aig7ll Street. I was thown fint into a dirtf 
galleiy, then upstain into a dirtier paintingroom, and there, under a 
high window with the light (hining foil on hii bald, grey head, itood *, 
diminndTe, wizened figure, in an cM blue itriped dxening-gown, his 
■pectaclei pnahed np on hit forehead. I^ooking keenly at me with his 
little ihining eyei, he opened the letter, read it, and in the broadett 
Devon dialect laid, ' Zo, you mayne ta bee a peinter, doo'ee i What 
wrt of peinter ? * ' Hiitoncal painter, Sir,* ' Heeitoricaol peinter ! 
Why, yell starre with a bnndle of ttraw under yonr head ! ' 

" He then put his ipectadei down and read the note again ; put them 
up, looked malidoiuly at me, and said, ' I remember yeer vather, and 
yeer grand-vather tn; he used to peint.' 'So I have heard. Sir.' 
' Eo ; he p^ted an el^hant once for a tiger, and he asked my rather 
what txAam the inzide oPi ean was, and my rather told nn reddish, and 
yeer grand-vather went home and peinted nn a vine Termilion.* He 
then chuckled, inwardly enjoying my confusion at this incomprehensible 
anecdote. ' I zee,' he added, * Mr. Hoare zays yee're studying anatomy ; 
that* > no nse— Sir Joshna didn't know it ; wl^ should ye want to know 
what he didn't \ ' ' Bat Michael Ang^ did. Sir.' ' Michael Ai^elo ! 
What's he to da here f You must peint portraits here.' This roused 
me, and I said, clinching my mouth, ' I won't ! ' ' Won't ! ' screamed 
the little man, * but you must 1 your vather isn't a moneyed man, is 
he t * ' No, Sir ; bat he has a good income, and will maintain me for 
three yean.' ' Will he t hee'd better mak'ee mentein yceizeU.' " 



In a letter written mthin a few days of his reception 
into the Freudent's house, Northcote ^ves the foUowu^ 
account of the arrangements for pu|»b : 

" The first <1>7 1 went to paint there I sawoneof Sir Jothiu's pnpli, 
ind on conTcning with him wai moch mrpriMd to find that hii Khdart 
were abtolnte itrangen to Sir Joahoa't manner of worUng, and that he 
m ailf nae of coloiin and vamiihei which ther knew nntliinr of, mnA 
alwaji painted in a room diitant from them ; that thej' nevei law him 
onleai he wanted to paint a Hand or a piece of draper^ from them, and 
then thqr were alwayi diimitied ai toon ai he had done with them. 

"He hai but two young gendemen with him at thii time, and they 
both behave to me with great good natnre. . . . 

" I find Sir Joahna ii k> entirely occnpicd all day with bsBiteai or 
company that I have leldom an oppntiuity of teeing him. , . . ." 

Agun, in a letter to his brother, he says : — 

"I go r^nlarly to Sir Jothoa RcynoW cTeryday, and cc^ from the 
pictorei in hii collection. He ii rery kind to me, and often invitca me 
to dine with him, and Min Reynold! ia the moat good-natuied woman 
I ever met with. . . . ." 

After a time, Northcote's enthuaatm made such an 
impresMon on Reynolds that he oSered to take lum into 
lus house on the same terms as other pupils, an offer 
which was joyftiUy accepted. 

The side lights thrown by Northcote on Sir Joshua's 
haHts and disposition all help to confirm the reading of 
his character which I have ventured to adopt. Writing 
to his brother, in August, 1771, he says : — 

"Yont letter . . . wai brought to me while I wai at dinner with 
Mits Reynold), Min Offy Fahner, and Mr. ClarL Miu Reynold* had 
alio had a letter by the lune po«t, but it wai not from Sir Joihua, who 
is at thii time in Faiii, for he never writes to her, and, between ooi- 
•elves, but seldom convenes as we used to do in our family, and never 
instructs her in painting. I found she knew nothing of his having 
invited me to be his scholar and live in the house till I told her of it. 



She ha* the commiwd <rf the hotuehold ind the tenaaa ai much tt he 
bai. . . . The other dxj, Dt. GolcUmith dined here ; it wu the fint 
time I erer taw 1'''*'. I had before told both Sir Jothna and Miat 
Rejiuddi that I had a great cnriofit^ to tee him, and when I came into 
the room the fint word Sir Jothna laid to me was, ' Thii it Di. Gold- 
amith, Mr. Northcote, vhcaa 70a k much withed to lee ; why did yon 
denre to lec him } * The niddenneH of the qneition rather confuted 
me, and I replied, ' Because he i* a notable man ! ' Tliit, in one aenae 
of the word, wu *o much unlike hit character that Sir Joihua laughed 
heartily, and taidhethouldatwaytin fntoie be called the Notable Man, 
bat friiat I meant wu a num of note 01 eminence." 

Two more atones from the same source, which add 
touches to the portrait : 

" One morning, when Ganid pud a nut to Sir Jothna Reynold*, I 
oreiheard him, at I waa then at work in the adjoining room. He wai 
ipeaking with great freedom of Cumberland, the author, and condemned 
hit diamatk wotki. I lemember hit ezprettion wai thia — ' Damn hit 
dith-cloot face ! Hit playi would never do for the ttage if I did not 
cook them np, and make epilogue* and prologue* for him too, and to they 
go down with the public' Me alto added, ' He hatei yon. Sir Jothna, 
became yon do not admire hit Corr^gio.* 'What Coneggiof' 
antwered Sir Jbthua. * Why, hit Coireggio,' replied Garrid, * it 

Northcote was fond of using his ears. On another 
occaaon he overheard Mrs. Garrick abusing Foote for his 
perpetual girding at Garrick, both in the newspapers and 
in private conversation. Kr Joshua replied that it ought 
not to pve her pain, as it evidently proved Foote to be 
the inferior, for it was always the lesser man who de- 
scended to envy and abuse. 

Northcote worked in a room, now destroyed, adjoimng 
Sir Joshua's own painting room. It was also used as a 
ttxt of store-room for plaster casts, rejected portnuts, and 
other wreckage from the main studio. Leslie asserts that 
the pupils daily saw their master's works in every stage 
of progress, but we have Northcote's own statements to 



show that no such openness was practised by Reynolds. 
Leslie too often writes, in hct, as a partisan. Northcote 
tells us : 

" I remember once i^en I was diipming the foldi of drapeiy with 
great care on the la^ fignie, in order to paint from it into one of Lit 
pictures, he remarked that it would not make good drapery if tet lo 
artificially, and that, whenever it did not fall into inch folds as were 
agreeable, I thould tif to get it better, hj taking the chance of another 
tou of the drapery itnS, and hj that means I thonld get Natore, which 
it alwaji laperior to art." 

Upon this Leslie remarks : 

" And yet Northcote, after recording thit, laid to HazUtt, ' If I had 
any fault to find with Sir Joahua, it would be that he wtt a my bad 
master in art.' " 

As if a single remark, however much to the point, were 
enough to make a man a Lion Cogniet. The truth about 
Sir Joshua's activity as a teacher is probably contuned in 
the statement that he only gave instruction " when 
accident produced an opportunity to give it."* 

Northcote stayed five years vnth Sir Joshua, quitting 
him in 1776 (to glance forward a Uttle), partly because he 
thought he could learn no more, partly because he found 
his portion in the house irksome. In a letter to his 
brother, dated February, 1775, he says : 

" I find it very diipleaiing to Sir Jothna fc^ any one to come to me 
in any of the roomi in which I paint, so that sJl the day I must live like 
a hermit, which I nibmit to, at I wish to oblige lum in everything that 
it in my power. Thus, every visitor by day is attended with giest 
inconvenience to me on many accounts, which I could better explain to 
you were we together ; for thote reasoot, I woold not have you encourage 
D. to call often on me, 01 to think of chatting. ... All those thingt 

* Gwynn't Mem*rUlt 9fan Eightttntk Centitrj PttnUr (Jamti N*rtt- 
<Mf) : p. 100, 








I moK qaite gin up. . . . Tlie oolf place in which I caa receive tmf 
penoD without Sir Jochm's koowledge ii loch a room ai I am mortified 
fot aajboAy to *ee me in. . . . Dawton, when he called on me, wm 
Ttrj dedioDi of teeing the room in which I woriced, and I led him into 
the dinul bole, bnt it moitified me." 

About the i2thof May, 1776, Reynolds and Northcote 
said goodt^e with what passed for cordiality in the 
aghteenth century. Sir Joshua's last piece of advice being 
to remember that, for success in art, " something more 
must be done than that which succeeded formerly. 
Kneller, Lilly, and Hudson will not do now," an 
impromptu remark dwelt upon by Northcote as if it had 
been deeply premeditated. 

Returning to the year 1771, the only remaining event in 
Sir Joshua's life which need be chronicled was a viut to 
Paris. Between the 13th of August and the 6th of 
September, he was in the French cajntal, but no entries in 
his pocket-book or other indications exist to show what 
took lum there and how he spent his time. The next 
year, sj'J2y Is chiefiy notable for the numerous entries 
referring to the Ugolino. Most of the work on the 
picture was done in these twelve months, and work com- 
[laratively wasted it was. It is pitiful to let the eye wander 
down the list of appointments, and see how often " boy 
(for Ugolino)," " old man (for Ugolino) " break into the 
entries of " Mrs. Abington," " Mrs. Baddeley," "Duchess 
of Bucdeuch," ** Lady Mary Scott," " Mr. Dunning," 
" Miss Meyer," and others, wluch were to lead to real 
additions to the world's treasure of art. This year, too, 
saw more than the usual number of interruptions through 
Sir Joshua's love of floating on the main stream of London 
society. In sodal matters he seems to have taken as his 
models such men as Topham Beauclerc, Ltnrd Melbourne, 
97 o 



Lord Falmerston. Wherever amusement was combbed 
with fashion — the Auhion both of^randzad demi-monde — 
there we find him. We know from his pocket-4x>ok that 
he was at the Pantheon on the famous mght when Mrs. 
Baddeley was carried in ptast the protesting stewards by 
the young men who had shared her favours, and one 
cannot help suspecting that Dr. Johnson's reason for 
appearing in such a vanity fair was suggestoi by the 
President. To Boswell's remark that there was not half- 
a-guinea*8 worth of pleasure in seeing the place : " But, 
Sir," replied Johnson, *' there is half-a-guinea's worth of 
infe-iority to other people in not having seen iL" The 
sentiment is much more like Sir 'Joshua than Johnson. 
Reynolds was also regular during this year at the 
Mondays of the Qub in Gerrard Street, the Wednesday 
dinners at the Briti^ Coffee House, the Thursdays of the 
Star and Garter, and the alternate Sundays of the Dilet- 
tanri. Many entries in the pocket-book refer to Sir 
William Chambers, with whom, no doubt. Sir Joshua was 
discusung the arrangements for the new rooms at Somerset 
House, which were to be commenced eighteen months 
later. The relations of the Academy irith the Incorporated 
Society also took up much of his attention, feu* this year 
the latter opened its fine new room on the site now 
occu[»ed by the Lyceum Theatre, and invited the Academy 
Coundl to the inaugural ceremony, an invitation gracefully, 
if not very graciously, declined. The Academy Exhibition 
continued to expand, for in 1772, the catalogue runs to a 
total of 324 numbers, including several contributions sent 
across the Channel by members of the French Academy of 
Painting. The most attractive [Hcture in the coUecdon 
was the well-known Zofl&ny, ** Academidans gathered 
about the Model in the Life School at Somerset House." 
It was in the September of this year that Sir Joshua 



recdved that honour from his native town in which he 
tock so curious a [Measure, On the 9thi Samuel Northcote 
writes to his brother : " I was much surprised when I first 
heard from you that Sir Joshua was coming down to be 
made an alderman of Plympton ; I had heard of this 
indeed from Mr. Mudge, but I gave not the least credit to 
the information, looking upon the foul transactions of a 
dir^ borough as things quite foreign to Sir Joshua 
Reynolds's pursuits ; indeed, the only way I can account 
for this is by supposing that Sir Joshua's mind has been so 
much engaged in the pursuit of knowledge in the art, that 
he has not looked about to observe the villfuny and cor- 
ruption in these affairs ; but, on the contrary, he perhaps 
retuns somewhat of the ideas he had of a Plympton 
alderman when he was a boy." 

Samuel Northcote seems to have been a very sensible 
person, but having spent all his life in his native place, he 
fuled, perhaps, to redise how, to one who has left it young, 
distance lends enchantment to the half-remembered scenes 
and peo|de of his childhood. 



1773— 1778 

E fiftieth jear of Sir Joshua's life wts 
erhaps the most chiiracterUtic of his 
'hole career. It saw the punting of st 
ast three of his most famous pictutes, 
brought him a peculiar pleasure in the 
.access of that friend who seems to have 
touched his sympathies more closely than any one else, it 
gave him opportunities for a few of those quan-pubUc 
appearances for which he had a decided, though sober, 
taste, and it found him stUl in the full tide of sodal enjoy- 
ment, It was the year of the " Ugolino," of the " ITiree 
Ladies decorating a term of Hymen," and of the *' Dr. 
Seattle," with its sky full of painted flattery. It was the 
year of Goldsmith's triumph in " She Stoops to Conquer.'* 
It was the year of that D.C.L. d^ree wtuch afterwards 
enabled him to escape from sober blacks and browns in his 
portnuts of himself, of his election as Mayor of his native 
Flympton, which seems to have pleased him, and of his 
assistance at the great pro-Russian naval review on board 
the flag-ship of his friend. Lord Edgcumbe. A greater 
contrast — within its limits — could scarcely be conceived 
than that between the lives at this time of the two greatest 
painters of their age : between Gainsborough, at Bath, 
^nding his days partly in the feverish creation of works 





of ftit in which a virid and spontaneous genius made much 
thinlung needless, partly in a life which might be sketched 
by judicious thefts from " Tam 0*Shanter " ; and Rey- 
nolds, lavishing more thought on his art than any one else 
of his century, extending his acquaintance at every oppor- 
tunity but always among those who figured in the public 
eye, never leaving a duty undone and never acting on 
impulse, until in the end he had left a career behind him 
which, putting [lassion aside, has seldom been equalled in 
completeness and symmetry. 

In his second volume, Leslie's editor and completer, 
Tom Taylor, gives a catalogue raisomti of Sir Joshua's 
dinnga for seven days of lus life, the first week of March 
in this year 1773. I cannot do better than c<^ it out, 
omitting a few lines in which Tayhv* seems to go too hi 
outside his brief : 

"Mooda7, March I : — 'The boy' como at ten; ptobably for the 
Tonngcftioa but one of the Ugolino gionp, which Sk Joihua ii finiihing 
for the exhibition. At eleven airiTci an Iriih gentleman, the Right 
ibo. Lnke Gardiner,* now in London foi hit nuiriage with Miu 
Elizabeth Montgomerj, one of the three beantifol daoghtert of Sii 
Williasi Mcmtgomeij, of whom another ia engaged to Vliconnt Tovm- 
fhend (l>tely taueeded in tlie Lord Lieutenancy of Ireland hj Lord 
Hajconrt), and the third to the Hon. John Beietft^. All three 
manriaget are to come off thia Tear, or next at latot. The npihot of 
Mr. Gardiner'* littingi, betide* hi* own picture, wa* a annmiition to 
p«int the three beantifol liiten, who b^an to *it to Sir Jothoa in May, 
Mr. Gardiner wiihed, a* he ay ia a letter introducing Miu Montgomery, 
to have their portrait* ' reptcienting lome emblematical or hinorical 
•abject.' Hence the picture, now in the NadtHial Gallery, of the three 
young ladiet wreathing a term of Hymen with flower*. If an all^ry 
wu to be employed — and we lee it wai the patron'* laggenion, and not 
. the painter'* — there oould sot be one more appropriate to theae three 
beautifnl girl*, (landing hand in hand on the thie*hdd of maniage, 
with the fntnie 10 bright before them. No other riUei ii appointed for 

* Afterward* firat Earl of Bleidngton. 



Moacbf, bat at tena in the evenii^ there i> the Actdtmjr lecttKc, 
iriiich Sir Joiliiu never tniucf,' though Mr. Fenii^ could haidlj teidt 
him mnch about punting. There a a reminder, 'To ipeak for a 
painter — Lord Pembroke,* v^ch hint we ma7 eke ont at we pleue ; 
either Lord Pembroke had some work for a painter, and had|«ked Sir 
Joshua to find him one — a kind of ctHomiatioa the Pretidest raj often 
bad — or there wai some painter in whom Lord Pemlnoke wai interttted, 
and had aaked Sir Jothna to apeak in favour of the man, or hit pictnret, 
to the Academiciani whom he might meet at the lectnie. 

"On Tuesday, between nine and eleven. Sir Joshua, strange to uj, 
is not to be found in hit painting-room. He is ' in the Cit^,' no donbt 
bui7 with one oE hit investments ; perhaps getting rid of some of kit 
India tttxk, which keeps falling as the straggle between the Cuupanr 
and t^ Government grows more and more fierce. He is bad la 
Leicester Fields at eleven, to receive Mr. Gardiner, and perhaps the 
design for the picture of the three Irish t beauties is already ditcotsed. 
But Sir Jothua hat an appointment vrith Mr. Knapp for twelve, to 
Mr. Gardiner's sitting is interrupted, bnt resumed at two, and probab^ 
contlnuei till four o'clock strikes, and Sir Jothaa bys aside hit pslette for 
the dsy. As he has no engagements to dinner abroad, he very likdy 
receives one of his pleasant, onceremonious, scrambling parties at &K, 
followed by a rubber or loo-table, vrith talk, and tea presided over by 
hit nieces, Maiy Palmer and her younger sitter. Sir Jothna't pet, ' Ofiy,' 
who hai lately been sitting for the Strawberry Giri, but thinks her uncle 
hat made her far too much of a child for fourteen. Between cuds and 
conversation, the guests tit late, and twelve has struck before steady 
Ralph Kirkley has lighted the last of the party out, and barred and 
btdted the house. Such precautions are not unnecessary in Leicester 
Fields, vAen the neighbourhood swarms with loose characten, and 
supplies a large proportion of their cases to Sir John Fielding and Justice 
Wdch at Bow Street 

" On Wednesday, at ten, the boy comes to sit for ' The Shepherd,' I 
and Sir Joshua either keeps him till four, or works on his UgoUuo, cc 
his Stiawbeny Girl, or the portraits of the Duke and Duchess at 
Cumberland, or passes a last golden glaze over his group of the bcautifiil 
young actrett, Mrt. Hartley, as a Nymph, carrying on her shoulder her 

* T.T. ought to have said "never falls to enter in his pocket-book." 
We know from Boswell and other sources that he often missed them, 
t As a matter of fact thc^ were Scotch. 
t The Piping Shepherd, now in the possession of the Earl of Camper- 



boft Tme-wreithed, bn an infuit Bacchni.* And lo the momenti flj 
till it ii time to dieu for ■ fooi o'clock dlnnet at tbe Britiih G>&ee 
Honie, wbtn Sir Jothna hat appointed to meet a par^, Sir Thoma* 
Milli, probably, CunberUnd, Adam Drummond, Richaid Bnrke (now 
home (XI leave from hit pott at Grenada), and perbapi Caleb Whitefoord 
and Dr. Barnard. The^ adjonm to Dnuy Lane at half-past tix. The 
plaf ii Home'i new tragedy of ' Alonzo.' This ii the third, or author*!, 
night, when the proceedi of the home, after dedocting the expentet, go 
into the pocket! of the aathor, who, betidet, often lealited b7 the tale 
of hit copTiight to the publiihen at much as he received from the 
theatre. Mr. Home'i ' Donglat ' hat made him a reputation, and the 
hoBte it crowded. 'Alonzo' it a terrible ipecimen of the hearieit 
Intimate traged/, with all the itock motiTet and machinery. ... In 
ipite of reipect for Mr. Home, admiration for Mrt. Bany, and excellent 
breeding, one imaginet Sir Jothna hiding an occational yawn, and very 
thankfnl when they came to the killing, and he conld get away to bed, 
oi, likelier itill, to a meny tupper at the British or the Turk's Head. 

"Thnnday it bbnk of appcuntments for either titter or model . . . 
At four there it a ' dinner at home,' but the party break* up in time for 
Sir Jothna to attend Mrt. Oid't conrertazione at eight. Mrs. Ord is 
the dever wife of a wealthy Northumbrian gentleman, and, though only 
a lurgeon'i daughter, has made her way to the front rank of the Bluet 
. . . immediately after Mn. Montague, Mit. Walsingham, and Mii. 
Vetey. Here Sir Joihna is certain to meet the chief literary liont of the 
day, Johnion ... a bishop or two — ^very probably Shipley, of St. Asaph, 
or Newton, of Bristol ... a sptinkling of lawyers and doctors. Dr. 
Warren or Dr. Brockleiby, Mr. Pepyt, or young Mr. Jones, who hat 
ktely published hit poemt from the Pertian. There will drop' in, 
beades, during the evening, tome of the fashionable wits and noblemen 
who mix with the literary todety of the time — ^Topham Beauclerc, 
Lord Falmertton, Lord Lncan, Loid Mnlgrave, Lord Ossoiy ; and even 
Geo^e Selwyn may saunter in like a man walking in his sleep, and drc^ 
Odt oat of hit mta, of which the pungency ii doubled by the languid 
gravity of the speaker. More formidable than the gentlemen it the 
doaely'packed aide of ladies, in high tflts . . . long stomachers, ample 
mffies, and broad, ttiS ikirts of substantial flowered silk or rich brocade. 
There will be Mrt. Montague, with her thin, clever face, hei grand aii, 
her bright eyes, and her blaze of diamonds, talking formally and 
pompously, but neither unkindly noi sillily, to the Duchess of Portland 
and Lady Spencer, flanked perhapi by Mrs. Chapone ... or Mrs. 

* Pietented by Sit William Agnew to the National Gallery. 



Cuter ... or Mn. Lenox, bow in great dinrcM, u tiie Kpaitmeot* 
iriuch hiTc been granted to tier in Someraet Hotue aie aboBt to be 
polled down in the coone of Sir WUiam Oumben' projected re- 

h nilrling , , , 

" IIk ladiei lit late, and St. Mirtin'i niaj be rtiiking two aa Sir 
Jo«Kaa'i carriage ttuni the wettem corner of Letcener Fiddt oo ita wsf 

** Lord Cathcart uu on Friday morning ... a Hiitingniihed officer, 
irito lerved and wai woonded at Fontenof, hu been AmbaaMdor at 
St. Petenbnig, and if now about to be appointed Lord High Com- 
nuMtooer to the General Aaiembl/. He it proud of hli Footoio^ acar, 
and requena Sir Joahna to arrange that the black patch on hk dieek 
•hall be vinble.* . . . But before Lord Cathcart*! arrival. Sir Joahna 
hai hadaiittingof oneof hia'Bayi.' Between him and Lord Cathcart, 
and pkturea on band to be finiihed and «ent home, the da^ it cooramed, 
and at fonr the painter dinet with one of the oldeat and moat intimate 
of hit friendi, Mr. John Parker, one of the member* for Devon, and 
afterward! Lord Boringdon. Sir Joihna hai known him fram a bo^ ; 
thej are of abont the Hune age. On the Fretident'! viiiti to Deron- 
•hire, Mr. Parker i! alwajt one of hit horta ; Sir Joahna thoott and hnnt! 
with him, and adviiet him abont purchatei for hit gallery, for Mr. Parker 
lorei picture! a! well u conntiy tporti, and it bent on haTtng a good 
collection in hit honte at Saltram, for which the Parker* have left thmr 
fine old Tudor hall at Boringdon. Hi* amiable and beantifnl wife, 
Thereta, it now aitting to Sir Joihua for that graceful portrait of her, 
with her boy of two yean old, which now hangi in the Saltram 

" On hit way from Mr. Parker*!, Sir Joihna drop! in at the Qnb, 
iriuch now rapt on Fridayi, and at which he i* the mott conttant of 
attendant!. Johnion it abient, being confined to hi* home in JobntCD*! 
Court by gout and catarrh. But there it no lack of coiaputf or tt^ict; 
Topham Beanderc hat to tell the humour! of the latt maaqnerade at 
the Pantheon, on the iSth of February, where Gatrick had thooe lo 
brilliantly ai King of the Gipiiet, and jolly Sir WatUn had produced a 
great effect by riding in a* St. Darid mounted on a Wclih goat. Then 
there i* Garrick*t admittion to the Club to diacud, the ballot for which 
it fixed for thii month, Johnion i* known to be warmly in GarridL*! 
favoar, in ^ite of hit contemptnoot tone in !peaUng of the playert. 
JobntoD ha! talked of putting up Botwell** name for ballot when he 

* ** In all the pmtrait* of Lord Cathcart, which erer ride ia turned 
to the ipectator, the black patch it on the ride moat fnlly aeeo." C^.T.). 



Eari. of Crewe 




•rrivct from Scotland, in April Sir Jodina lays m good mid for the 
loote-tongned, bruen-faced, pnihing, chattering Scotchman, whom 
enrfhodj elte hai his fling at. Sir Joahaa compeli them »> admit that 
he it good company, that he thawi reterre wherever he comes, and Kta 
the ball of conTcrutioa rolling. ITtes Cohoan openi the budget of hit 
difficnltiei and doldnimi over Goldimith't onlocfy comedy, now cm the 
point of production. It matt fail ; the public will never lund a faice 
in five acta ; all the actcxt are throwing up their pirta ; Gentlonan 
Smith declarei he won't go on for yonng Mailow ; Woodward haa flatly 
refnaed Ttuiy Lanq>kin ; and now Mrt. Abington ii in the ponti, and 
ptoteit* ihe don't lee heraelf in Mix Mallow. Poor Goldy it in deapaii. 
They haven't even fonnd a naoke yet for hi* haplesi play. ' The Mit- 
take* of a Night ' i* pronounced too tiivial for a comedy ; ' The Old 
Home a New Inn ' it voted a^ward. Sir Joihna propotet the ' BcUe"! 
Stratagem,' and declaret if Goldy doe> not take iii same, he will go the 
flrtt night and help to damn hit comedy. * Hiere will be no need of 
hit help for that,' Colman whitpera hit next neighbour, tilent, thy, kindly 
Bennet I^angtro. Bat the tide at the Clnb runt for the author against 
the manager. Johnton hat given hi* weigh^ JSst, hat declared the 
comedy the beat written for yeart, and hat pinned hi* repotation on it* 
rocceit. Reynoldt warmly maintain* Johnton'* opinion ; Borke throw* 
bit eager and impaitianed eloquence into the tame teak; and before the 
Qub ditpenet for the night, Goldunith it comforted and buoyant with 
hi^e, and Colman nlenced if not convinced. 

" On Saturday, at half-pait ten, before Lord Cathcart arrivea, Sir 
Chariet Daven hat a titting.* Sir Charlet it an honcit country gentle- 
man of Suffolk, and member for Weymouth. He it a friend and 
neighbour of the Bnnbniya, and hat a good deal to tay of Sir Chailet't 
beta and gaDantriei and Mr. Blake't wagert and matchei. But his mott 
intereating subject of conversation, I thould suppose, mutt have been 
the terrible tufferingt of the poor people about Bury St. Edmnndt in the 
famine of latt year, when the itarving mob ttopped the com and carcaae 
carta, and forcibly told the flour, and meat, and coalt at their own 
price* ; threatening to raise an English jacquerie, tiH the squires and 
farmers combined to put them down ; Sir Charles Daver*, with other 
k^al gmtkmen, last April, having ridden into Buy St. Edmunds 
market-place at the bead of 800 (d their tenantry and tervantt, readyto 

* llua portrait it either the one at Rnthbrooke, near Bniy St. 
Edmnndt, vrith the hands coarsely repainted, at the one in the potset- 
sion of Lord Morley, at Saltiim. A replica, vrith slight variations, 
belong* t6 Lord Bristol, at Ickworth. 



trample down and fire npoa the rioten, if necenuf, whkh luppilj' h 

" No tittert nicceed Lord Ctthcirt ; Sir Jothiu dimet *t home, at fire 
aa ofnaL At leren he goea ont to tea and caidi Q>iobablj fopper) at 
Mr. Roffef'a, of whom I know nothing bnt that Sir Jothua leem* to 
hare Tinted him a good detL 

" On Sondaj (let ni hope after he hat taken Hii niece to chnrch) he 
hai a atting fmn the Dukeof Giafton, now Lord Privy SeaL Bnt this 
practice of receiving ntten on Sondayi ii even now— though Johaaon 
hai notjret botmdSir Jothna to give it up — exertional, and only occnra 
in the caae of perton* whoae time ti little at their own diipotal, oc of 
very great people, who make the lerenth day of the week bend to their 
occaaioDi as well ai the other liz. 

" Thii happeni to be a Dilettanti Sunday, and Sir Joahna rardy mines 
oneof the Society's pleaiant dinnen at the Star and Gartei, where helt 
■ore to find old Mendt and congenial companion!. Here he can ditcoM 
good wine and pictnret with Lord MtUgrave ot Mr. Bonverie ; bow 
to Lord Falmenton't or the Dnke of DeTonthire'i piaiiea of the la«t 
impOTted antiqoe ; hear Mr. Fitzpatrick*! oi George Selwyn't fretheat 
boa-mot| and raiie hit eyebrowt at the newt that Lord HoQand it 
thinking of paying off C^'"^'* Foz't debt!, which hit club friendi pat at 
lomething above a hundred thontand. Ferhapi he taket part in the 
ditcnwion of the drewei for the Henry Qnatre and Charlei the Second 
qnadrillea at the next Almack't, heart the tpeculationt at to the anthor- 
ihip of the Htnic Sfiitk, jntt now at much the rage at the Coort end 
of the town a* the BaU> Gmde before it, or the R»lSsd afterward* ; and 
thifa hit trumpet at Lord Spencer ezpatiatet on the kit Andrea Saodii 
ifiuch he hat bought for a Guido. He hat beiidea to beat np 
Totet for hit new friend, Mr. Luke Gardiner, who it a candidate 
for the Dilettanti, and comet forward for ballot to-night. There ia a 
great deal of wit and trirta talked, a great deal oi laughing, a 
great deal of wine drunk, in all which Sir Jothua taket hit part geniaDy 
bnt temperately." 

A good deal of this — the reader may mj — is conjecture, 
but a collation of the pocket-books with Boswell, N<Hth- 
cote, the publications of the Historical Manuscripts Com- 
mission, and other authorities, leaves us with a curious 
sense of conviction as to how Reynolds passed the normal 
days of life. He was free from those erratic impulses by 
which people are led into adventure. It was his nature to 



fonaee, to advance hy stages booked beforehand, and to 
keep engagements with such punctuality that we never get 
a hint of the smallest fulure to fulfil them. If he were 
ever tempted to be eccentric, it was, we may safely guess, 
in connection with Goldsmith, for whom he seems to have 
felt an afiection bordering on the paternal. It was tried 
during this year, 1773. In the first months of it, Gold- 
smith was in bad health and worse spirits, for his debts 
were presung, and lus play — according to those who ought 
to have known best — ^was »mply waiting to be damned. 
Perhaps, however, the tales to this elfect contain some 
exaggeration. It is difficult to believe that a mani^er and 
a company of experienced actors can hare read " She Stoops 
to Conquer " without any suspicion of its merit dawning 
upon them. They may have had serious doubts ; a farce 
in five acts was an experiment; but they can scarcely 
have been so decided in thdr convicticm of failure as we 
are told they were, or it would not have been brou^t 
out at all. 

The first night was the 1 5th of March. Goldsmith and 
his friends dined tc^ether before the play at the Shakes- 
peare tavern, near the theatre. The company included 
Reync^s, Johnson. Steevens, the two Burkes, father and 
son, Caleb Whitefoord, Sir Thomas Mills, Cumberland, 
and some Scotsmen, ** prominent among them one Adam 
Dnunmond, an invaluable man for the first night of a 
comedy, being gifted with the most sonorous and conta- 
gious of laughs." Goldsmith, of course, was wretched. 
He couldn't eat, and when it was time to move on to the 
theatre he had vanuhed. Tlie story of the play's triumph 
is too well known to be repeated, but when Goldsmith was 
caught wandering about in the Mall and brought into the 
house just as the curtain rose for the last act, we may be 
sure that Reynolds, in his double capacity as friend and 



justified prophet, was moved to a warmer handshake than 

The Exhibition of 1773 included twelve jnctures by 
Reynolds : Portraits of the Duke and Duchess of Cumber- 
land, * the Duchess of Buccleuch, f Lady Melbourne with 
her childtt Mrs. Darner, Mr. and Mrs. Ganick,^ Mr. 
Banks, a young lady, a gentleman, a ** Nymph with a 
young Bacchus" (Mrs. Hartley and child), I the " Straw* 
berry Girl,"f and " Ugolino and his Children in the 
Dungeon."** Leslie suggests that the unusual gene- 
routy of Sir Joshua to this year's Exhibition is to be 
exfJained by the ^t that Gainsborough did not send at 
all, and that the consequent gaps had to be filled up. The 
reason of the latter's abstention is unknown, except through 
Walpole, who notes in his catalc^ue that ** Gainsborough 
and Danc^ having disagreed with Sir J. Reynolds, <Ud not 
■end any [Hctures to this exhibition." Gain^xirough was 
an intimate friend of Kirby's, which may account for some 
want of cordiality between him and his brethren of the 
Academy ; he was a touchy mortal too, and causes of dis- 
pute are never wanting between those who paint [Mcture* 
and those who hang tiiem. Ten years later there was to 
be a final rupture, a rupture for which Gunsborough has 
too long borne the whole of the blame, and in 1772 • 
nmilar cause of quarrel may have arisen. Of Sir Joshua's 
twelve contributions, the most famous, though (mi from 
the best, is the " Ugotino." Leslie comments on it : "The 

* Uteportnitof theDukeiiBt WiadaoiCude; thttof tlie Dschen 
at WaddetdoD. 

t In the Duke of Bnodendi'i coUectton at Dalkeith Palace. 

t Engraved ai " Maternal Affection " ; now at Panibangci. 

§ Painted for Lord Shclbrnne** brother ; now the propexty of the 
Marqoeu of Lanidowne. 

n Now m the National Gallery. 

4 Mow in the Wallace CoUecti(». " Noir at Kaole. 



Wallace Gallery 






* Ugt^no * leaves nothing to be desired, except that it had 
never been painted." With the last half of this dictum we 
may cofdialljr agree. Reynolds had none of the special 
gifb requir^ for success in such an undertaking. He 
could not express tragedy in terms of line and colour. 
The human honor of the story grips his mind, but instead 
of suggesting a pictorial equivalent, it merely sets him 
tlunklng how to realise the facts as told by Dante. The 
picture has no design, no envelope of colour, no welding 
chiaroscuro. Northcote says it was the result of chance. 
Reynolds punted the Count's head from White, the 
paviour, some years bef(»'e 1773. It was on a half-length 
canvas, and the punter had no idea of maldng it anything 
more than an ideal portrait until, one unlucky day, it was 
seen by either Burke or Goldsmith, "who immediately 
exclaimed that it struck him as being the precise person, 
countenance, and repression of the Count Ugolino as 
described by Dante in his Inferno." Sir Joshua had the 
canvas enlarged, and proceeded to act upon this idea. 
Northcote sat for the figure of the young man with his 
hand over his fwce. How many Ugolinos would we give 
6ye the " Strawberry Girl '* or the *' Mrs. Hartley " ? 

The Exhitntion had grown nearly threefold in the five 
years «nce 1769. The numbers in the catalogue had risen 
ftom 136 to 385. The receipts, however, had only in- 
creased about 30 per cent. The duration of the show was 
still from the fourth week of April to the last week of 
May. It was afier the doors had closed that Sir Joshua 
assisted at the Naval Review. A few days later he 
travelled to Oxford to receive his doctor's degree. Oa 
this occasion he vidted Nuneham Courtenay, Gr^ories, 
and Blenhdm — where he gave offence to their Graces by 
appearing, like Tottenham, in his boots. Soon after his 
return to London, he b^an the portrait of Dr. Beattie. 



The account given by Beattie in his dtuy of the com- 
mencement of lus friendship with Sir Joshua is interesting, 
both for its glimpses of the Preudent's mode of life, and 
for the strange opinions on his art which could be formed 
by an intelligent contemporary : — 

" On Sunday, tlie i5tJi (of Angnit) , , . Sir Jotfaua insiited <m it 
that we $hoald itaf till to-moirow, and partake of a haunch of venitcn 
with him to-daj' at hii home on Richmond WHL Accordingly', at 
deren, Mn. Beattie, Miu Rcj^oldt, Mr. Baretti, and Mi. Palmer let 
ont in Sir Joihns't coach for Richmond. At twelve he and I went in a 
pon-chaJM, and hj the way paid a vitit to the Bishop of Cheater 
(Dr. Markham), who wai very earneit for ni to fix a day fu diningwith 
him. . . . After dining at Richmond, we all retnmed to town ibont 
eigjit o'clock. Thii day I had a great deal of convenaticm with Sit 
Joihna Reynold* on critical and philosophical lubjccti ; I find him to be 
a man, not only of excellent taite in painting and poetry, bnt of an 
enlarged understanding and tmiy philoaopbical mind. Hit notioot of 
painting are not at aU the tame with thoie that are entertained by die 
generally of painten and othen. Artifidtl and contracted attitndet 
and gronpi he maket no account of ; it ii the truth and limplicity <rf 
nature which he it ambitiout to imitate ; and these, it must be allowed, 
he poKeitet the art of blending with the moit exgniute taite, the most 
■nimated e^rettion. He tpeakt with contempt of those who couKire 
grace to conast in erect position, tnmed-out toes, or the frippery of 
modern diet*. Indeed, ai/itner aceamt ne make cf tht caltmnmg of tki$ 
grett ariiit (uMei Mm feefiU eijfct te), itu imfettiiJe If Jemj Mm the fraiit 
tf bring tie gnattst JedgiKr ofaaj age" 

He goes on to say that the picture of Garrick between 
Tragedy and Comedy had been painted in a week. If 
we take the literal meaning of the words, the sentence I 
have put in italics contuns as absurd a judgment on Sir 
Joshua as we could readily conceive, but Seattle's meaning 
may, nevertheless, have been more judidous than it 
sounds. That Sir Joshua was a great colourist even we, 
who only know his colour after more than a century of 
degradation, can assert, while, as a designer, he is seldom 
uther correct or coherent. On the other hand, if we 



suppose that by design the Scots' philosopher meant umply 
a pictorial idea, such an idea as we see embodied in the 
" Strawberry Girl," or the " Age of Innocence," or the 
" I^ncess Sophia Matilda," or the *' Master Bunbury^" 
then, sweeping as his assertion is, I do not know that it 
can be contradicted. I, at least, can think of no painttr 
whose invention remained so fresh and surprising for so 
long a time. Imagine what Velazquez would have been 
had he been able to combine the playful fancy of a 
Reynolds with his own unrivaUed execution. Imagine 
the technique of an " Infante Prosper " or an " Infanta 
Margarita" wedded to as fine a movement as that of the 
•• Mrs. Atnngton as Miss Ho^nlen " or the *" Miss 
Bowles," and you will see the value of ^ Joshua's 

Dr. Beattie sat on Monday, August i6th, for the 
first time.* He gives the following account of the 
«tting : — 

" Breakf uted with Sii Jotbna R^noldi, who this iny began the 
allegorical picture. I lat to him five hoon, in which time he finithed 
mj head and sketched ont the reit of m^ fig:iire. The likeneu ii mon 
Striking and the execution moat nuiterly. The fignie it ai laige at 
life. Though I tat five houn, I wai not in the leatt fatigued, for, hy 
placing a laige miiror oppoiite to m^ face, Sii Joihua Reynolds pnt it 
in m^ power to tee ereiy ttidce of hii pencil ; and I wat greatly enter- 
tained to obterre the progreti of the work, and the easf and muterly 
manner of the anitt, which differs aa much from that of all other 
paintert I have teen at work at the ocecation of Giardini on the violin 
diffeft from that of a common fiddler." f 

" No entry al the ntting appeart in the podet-bo^ probably 
became it wat only ananged the preronu day, on the way home from 

t It is cnriont that Gainsborough makes the same nte of Giardini to 
illattrate the ease of complete mastery; he compaiei Giardini'a 
" bowing " with Dnnning't conveitation. 



The (ftcture led to one of those outbursts ui 
trenchant good sense on the put of Goldsnuth which are 
in such curious contradiction with his general reputRtton 
as a talker. Sir Joshua filled the background of Beattic's 
portrut with an all^cnical group, suggesting that the 
worthy doctor's Essay on Truth had routed Vohure at 
least, if not C^bbon and Hume as well. '*Howa>uld 
you," asked Goldsmith, " d^rade so high a genius as 
Volture before so mean a writer as Beattie i The 
edstence of £>r. Beattie and his book t<^ether inll be 
forgotten in the space of ten years, but your all^orical 
picture and the fiune of Volture will lire for ever, to your 
disgratx as a flatto'er." * 

The picture of the " Three Ladies ** had been begun 
before the Beattie. In July, Sir Joshua had written a 
letter to Mr. Luke Gardiner, from whom he had the com- 
mission, explaining the motive he had chosen — 

" the adorning a term of Hymen with feitocmt of flowen. Thit iffoidi 
infficient empk^ment to the figuret, and girei an opportmiity of intro- 
ducing a Tarie^ of giacefnl hiitorical attitndei, I have eveiy Induce- 
ment to exert mytetf on this occasion . . . from the tnbjecti iriiich 
70U have preaented to me, which are inch at I am nerei likely to meet 
with again ai long at I IiTe.'* 

He concludes with the usual declaration that it will be 
" the best picture I ever painted." In the Academy cata- 
logue it was entered as " Three Ladies decorating a Term 
of Hymen." .'Die name by which it is miscalled In the 
catalogue of the National Gallery — "The Three Graces 
decorating a Term of Hymen " — sprit^ from a confusion 
between Sir Joshua's tide and the name given to both 
utters and picture by contemporaries. The ladies were 
the daughters of Sir William Montgomery of Stanhope 

* The picture now bdongi to Mr. Glennie, of Aberdeen, a HnMTun 
of Beattie. 



and Magbie Hill, Feebleshire, the collateral ancestor, if 
I may pat it so, of the present Sir Graham Mon^omery 
of Stanhope. They were called " The Scots Graces," a 
name which was inevitably transferred to Sir Joshua's 
fncture, and ended in the foolish title now officially 
sanctioned, and in the mistaken criticisms to which it has 
given rise. Of all Sir Joshua's more elaborate conceptions, 
tlus group seems to me by far the happiest. The " his- 
torical attitudes," as he calls them, are full of grace and 
natural movement, and are well related to each othu- ; the 
pattern is fine all over, a very rare thing with Reynolds 
when he ventured beyond a single figure, while the action 
is so contrived that an essential unity — a unity going 
deeper than mere line — is reached. In his Marlborough 
Family picture, be was once again to succeed in putting 
many figures on a »ngle canvas without ^ling into con- 
fusion, but in no other group that I know of did he touch 
the level of creation through organised dedgn that we 
find in the " Scots Graces." 

Sir Joshua was elected Mayor of Plympton in Sep- 
tember of this year, and took a pleasure in the elevation 
yfbich seemed extra<vdinary to Northcote's brother, 
Samuel. It is sud that he also wished to sit in Parlia- 
ment for his native borough, for which Sir Christopher 
Wren had sat nearly a century before. Samuel North- 
cote writes to James, under date 3rd of October ; — 

" . . .Sir Joihaa went to Mount Edgcnmbe tliia monung . . . 
with Mi. Miu^. ... He ipeski (4 learing ^rmonth tm Toetda^ 
nonuog, bat tbote wbo know anTthing of Mtyoz-twttiing think it 
cannot be lo toon, at there i* mnch conconutant bosinett to be done. 
I find Sir Joshna't receiving the Sacrament ii one paiticuUi. This the 
tborongh-paced call ' qnilifying.' Beiide*, the Pljrmpton folki are all 
on dptoc readjr Eoi a dance, and mrel^ Sii Joihna will not leave them 
withont giving a ball. Bnt I ntppo«e 70a will be moie pleated ta hear 
113 « 



that Sir Joihaa called on Friday to tet jom pictoret, ind Ukal diem. 
I happened t» dine at home that day, and joit after dinner he called 
in and aiked to we yo\iX father"! portrait, imagining joa had finiihed it 
After he had leen tltis, he desired I would let him aee the other of me. 
He taid jonr father*! wai a very good head, bnt not lo good a likenea 
at mine, and obterved the noie in your father*! picture wu too faS at 
the end. He deaired likewiie to lee that of yonr grandmother by 
Gandy. . . . Thii he said waa a very good ptcttire, and remariud dut 
tlie eye! were finely painted, and that very few of Sir Godfrey Kneller*! 
were lo good. . . ," 

On his election ta the Mayoralty, Sir Joshua sent a 
portnut of himself to hang in the Torrn Hall.* It was 
hung between " two old pictures," which " acted as a foil, 
and set it off to- great advantage," as Sir William Elfofd 
told Reynolds ; they were two early |Mctures by Sr 
Joshua himself ! 

Another event of this year which requires to be 
chronicled is the abortive attempt to hare St. I^iul's 
decorated by a select band of Royal Academidans. 
Happily, the project failed. Neither Sir Joshua nor any 
of his colleagues knew enough of monumental painting to 
carry such a task through with any approach to success. 
Had the Bishop of London allowed the thing to be done, 
we should have had a cathedral filled with gloomy, semi- 
dasncal designs, which woiild have absorbed light fntbout 
adding solemnity. Sir Joshua's biographers have lamented 
the Bishop's sdffneckedness ; they should have thanked 
him on their knees. His action saved the painter from 
wasting his time on work he was quite unfitted for, and 
left him free to multiply those fanciful creations tn which 
we all delight. 

Be^des those already mentioned, the pictures of this 
year include the full-length portrwts of Lord and Lady 

* It wai told when the corporatios was abolithed, and i* now at 


Alfred Beit, Esg. 




BdlamoDt ;* the Richard Edgcumbe ;t several of the 
Streatham portraits — ^Johnson, Goldsmith, Arthur Murphy, 
and Burke ; the portrait of Robert Chambers ; and the 
famous ** Cornelia "—-Lady Cockburn and her three chil- 
dren — which retreated from the National Gallery to the 
collection of Mr. Alfred Bat when the country's title to it 
was discovered to be &ulty. It is asserted by Leslie and 
other writers, that the Lady Cockburn is one of the only 
two pictures ugned by Reynolds, the other bong the 
" Mrs. Sddons as the Tragic Muse." The assertion is 
not strictly true. As a rule, Sir Joshua left his |nctures 
to sign themselves, but occauonally he ** made sicker " by 
putting his name upon them. The Lady Cockburn 
enjoys, periiaps, a little more fame than it deserves. 
Fine in colour as it is, and exceptionally sound in con- 
dition — for a Reynolds — ^it is too confused in arrangement^ 
both of line and mass, to give unalloyed pleasure. The 
three children are |Hled awkwardly upon thdr mother, and 
suggest that Sir Joshua misapplied his own favourite 
Iheory that nature is superior to art. Certainly, such a 
group may often be seen in a nursery, but there it should 

It was in this year 1773 that the Dean of Derry, Dr. 
Barnard, had his famous collision with Johnson in Leicester 
Fields, and wrote those verses which I have ventured to 
print beside the other two rhymed characters of Sot Joshua, 
by Goldsmith and Mrs. Thrale, oppoute the first page of 
ttUs volume. The year was one of much dining out. The 
pocket-book notes engagements with all the punter's old 
friends and with a few new ones, the most remarkable of 
the latter, perhaps, being Lord Bute. Lord Shelburne, 

* The pomut of Lord BeUamont ii now in the Nadooal Galleiy, 
Dablin ; th>t of the Conntesc b«kHigcd nntil Jnne 1905 to Loid Tweed- 
mouth, t In the poMeidm ^ the family. 



Lord Carlisle, Sir Thomas Mills, Lord Palmenton, the 
ZXike of MarlborougK, are among his hosts, also Lord 
Carysfort, vrhom he visited at Elton, in Northafflpton^iire, 
where the walls are still covered with fine examples of 
lua art. 

The Exhibition of the year 1774 was a great oat for 
the President He sent thirteen [uctures ; the Duchess of 
Gloucester ; • her daughter, the Princess Sophia Matilda ; t 
the " Ladies adorning a Term of Hymen" ; Mrs. Tolle- 
mache as Miranda ; t Lady Cockbum and her children ; 
Earl of Bellamont ; Dr. Beattie ; Bishop Newton ; § BareUi 
(head) ; | Lord Edgcumbe (whole lei^th) ; T a whole 
lei^th of "a Lady" ; and one of **a Gendeman" ; and 
an " Infant JufMter." The pocket-book is missing, so that 
we can only guess how work went In the studio during the 
twelve months, from his ledger and from the pictures sent 
to the Academy in 1775. These were three whole lengdis 
of ladies (Countess of Dysart, for one), ** Lord Ferrers, ft 
Mrs. Sheridan as St Cecilia, tt Dr. Robinson, §j the children 
c^ the Duke of Rutland, || the Duke of Ldnster, W dw 
Duchess of Gordon,*** a Gentleman, and ** A B^^ar Boy 
and his Sister." fff Most of the work on these [Hctures 
must have been done in 1774, which in other ways was 
not one of Sir Joshua's most eventful years. He probably 

* In finckiiiglum Palace. t In Wnd»r Caitle. 

J Now in the collection of Lord Iveaf h. 
S Now in Lambeth Palace. 

II The property of the Earl of Ilcheater. 

f At Moont Edgcombe. ** At Hun Hoiue. 

tt Lately belonged to the Mirqneu Townahend. 

It At Wadde«lon. 

S^ Belong* to Sir Gerald RobinKm, Bt., Rokebf Hall, Co. Lonth. 

III Net traceable. f!I At Carton, Co. Kildare. 
*** In the collection of the Dnkc of Richmond. 

ttt Pocribl^ the B07 with Cabbage-nets in Mr. Alexander Hendo- 
•ob'i ooUection. 



remembered it aiterwirds u the year of his first introduc- 
tion to Hannah More and of Gainsborough's establishment 
in London. Hannah was a cloae Mend of the Gwatkins, 
through whom no doubt she was introduced to the family 
in Leicester Fields. Her description of her first appear- 
ance there, of & Joshua's kindness, and of the apparition 
of Johnson, vrith the 6unou8 macaw perched upon his 
shoulder, has a touch t^ Boswell's vivadty. 

Gainsborough arrived in London shc»tly after the 
ExhiUtioa closed. Reynolds called upon him, and we are 
told that his call was never returned. Leslie adds that for 
several years there was no intercourse between them, but 
ao far as I can discover, he had no authority for such a 
sweeping assertion. Gunsborough and Reynolds had many 
intimate Mends in common. Not a few sitters passed 
backwards and forwards between the studio in Leicester 
Fields and that in Pall Mall, and if the coldness had been 
so marked as Leslie makes out we should have heard more 
about it from them. Leslie, who tests evidence by its 
agreement or disagreement with his own cherished view of 
Sir Joshua's character, is particularly unfur to Gunt- 
bcnougfa whenever there is any question of comparison. 
He talks of him as feelii^ it hopeless to contend with 
Reynolds in the force of his effects, and so adopting a 
system of chiaroscuro less ideal — whatever that may mean 
'—than that of his great rival " He never," he goes on to 
tay, " could have punted in the manner of Reynolds mth- 
out being below him ; but by painting in a mumer very 
(Afferent he was often equal to him ; and his finest works 
rise much above the inferior wotka of ^ Joshua." We 
hear a good deal of the worthlessness of non-profes«onal 
ojnnions cm painting, but I doubt whether any hack critic 
ever wrote a more fodish paragraph than that. Gains- 
bwough'sart is infinitely more spontaneous and inevitable 



than Sar Joshua's. While the Prendent was too often 
controlling his imagination into echoes of the past, 
Gainsborough was realising viaons which had no extend 
su^estors beyond a glance backwards, now and then, to 
the distinction of Van Dyck. 

Tlie year 1775 b memorable in Sir Joshua's life for his 
introduction to Eliza Kieridan, of whom he was to paint 
more than one exqiusiteportrut; for his renewed acquaint- 
ance with Georgiana Spencer, now Duchess of Devonshire 
whom he had painted as a diiid of ux, and was yet to show 
to the world as a young wife and happy mother ; and fat 
his quarrd with Hon^ over the picture in which the latter 
had comtaned a ptxtrait of the Prendent with a nude 
figure identified by brother Academicians as Miss Angelia 
Kaufl^nann. The year also witnessed the outbreak of hos- 
tilities with the American colonies, disturbing the serenity 
of Sir Joshua's social horizon, and introducing an element 
of (Usoird into the convivialities of his many dubs. And 
yet to these twelve months bdong several of the most 
vivid pictures of the society he moved in, painted by Bos- 
well, Dr. Campbell, and others. ItwasontheiythofMarch 
that Drury Lane saw that benefit of Mrs. Abington to 
which Sir Joshua brought a contingent of forty wits, and 
where Johnson sat in the seat behind BosweD, ^'wrappedin 
a grave abstraction," and seeming *' quite a cloud amidst 
all the sunshine of glitter and gaiety,*' but gave an oppor- 
tunity for the amusing cross-examination which took place 
four days later, when " one of the company " — -Bosvdl 
himself, of course — at a tavern supper asked, " Why, nr, 
did you go to Mrs. Atnngton's benefit 7 Did you see 7 " 
Jc^nson : ** No, «r." *' Did you hear 7 " Jdmson : " No, 
nr." ** Whythen, ur, did yougo?" Johnson: **Because, 
me, she is a favourite of the public ; and when the public 
cares the thousandth part fco' you that tt does for her, I 









will go to your benefit too." A week later occurred the 
famous dinner at the Club, with Fox in the cbur, when 
Johnson growled to himself about bears, and startled the 
company with his famous apothegm : " Patriotism is the 
last refuge of a scoundrel." A fortnight later, again, 
Reynolds, Johnson, and Boswell made that expedition to 
Owen Cambridge's, at lUchmond, to which Boswell devotes 
so many vivadous pages, and Johnson calls up the diverting 
im^ of himself as a public unger. 

The pocket-book for 1776 Is missing, and we have to 
depend for the routine of Sir Joshua's employments on the 
udelights of Boswell, Hannah More's letters, the Academy 
catalogue, &c. Twelve pictures were sent to the Academy : 
the Duchess of Devonshire (the Althorp full length) ; Mrs. 
Lloyd (fidl length, cutting her name on a tree) ; * Lord 
Althorp (full length) ; f Lord Temple, called by Walpole 
the finest portrait Reynolds ever punted ; X Mrs- Montagu 
(half-length) ; § Master Crewe, as Henry VIII. ; | the 
Duke of Devonshire (three-quarter length) ; T David 
Garrick (the Thrale picture ; a half-length with the thumbs 
tc^ther) ;"• Master Herbert, as Bacchus ; tf Omiah (full 
length) ; tt the Infant Daniel ; §§ and the young St John. H 

From tlus list it mil be seen that Reynolds seldom did 
more for the glory of the Exhibition than in 1776. In 
conception, at least, few of his whole-length portnuts of 
ladies excel the Duchess of Devonshire ; in aninvttion, he 
seldom equalled the Garnck ; while for prompt felicity in 

* Now the pioptny of Lord Rothtchild. 

t Now at ^thorp. J Now the property of the Earl Temple. 

5 The property of the Maiqnet) of Winchetter. 

II At Crewe Hdl. f At Crewe HalL 
** In the Laiudowne collection, 

tt At Migbcleie. tX At Cutle Howard. H At Knole. 

III Thete are two ezamplet of thii, one at Belroir, the other at 




the realisation of a bojnsh indmduality, the Master 
Crewe must, I tlunk, be put at the head of lus pcMtraits 
of children. Among other pictures worked on, at least, 
if not begun or finished in this year, were the full lengdu 
of the Duke of Dorset, Sir Richard and Lady Worsley, 
Lady Melbourne, Lady Frances Marsham, and Mrs. Wey- 
land, the half lengths of Sir Charles Davers, Lady Tyr- 
connel, and Ixird Mount Stewart, and about thirty others. 
It was an active year — sitters were numerous, and die time 
given to sul^ect-pictures correspondingly meagre. Only 
three are referred to in the ledger, the '* Samuel," the "St. 
John," and a " Boy with a dramng in his hand." In otho* 
ways, 1776 was an epoch in Sr Joshua's career. It was 
the year of Garrick's farewell to the stage, and practically 
of the first appearance of Sarah Siddons upon it.* It was 
the year, too, of Gibbon's dibut as a historian, and, as we 
have already seen, of Northcote's departure hota the 
master's house, to set up for himself. This event fMob- 
ably left a less distinct impression on Sir Joshua's memcxy 
than his own election into the Academy of Floreoce, 
and his recognition of the honour by the despatch of his 
autc^raph portrait to the famous collection in the Ufiin.t 
Of his social eng^ments at this time we know less than 
usual. Hannah More mentions a dinner, in February, at 
which he entertained herself and her sister, and describes 
what an embarrassment his deafness was in a large party. 
It was in June or July that the dinner took place in Ldcester 
Fields at which Johnson's epitaph on Goldsmith was dis- 
cussed, and the round rot»n protesting against the 

* Stiictl}r ipealuDg. ber Jibmt bdonge to 1775, for it wu on the 19th 
of December in that year that she made her bow at Portia. 

t Reynoldt hai left a note of the method naed in thit portrait. " M7 
own (portrait), Florence; upon raw cloth, cera lolameiite." TTie 
picture i* in excellent condition. 


Tm RoVAL Academy 




** obscurity o^ a learned language " concocted by Dean 
Barnard. Tom Taylor, with his usual liberality of conjec- 
ture^assumes that Reynolds made one of the crowd in West- 
minster Hall on the 15th of April, when Elizid>eth Chud- 
leigh, alias Countess of Bnsto), alias Duchess of Kingston, 
was put upon her trial before her peers for bigamy. Seeing 
what Sir Joshua's habits were, it is likely enough that he 
was among those who gave way to what it is now the fashion 
to call a morbid curiosity, especially as he had painted the 
lady in her youth when she was the beauty of his own 
native district.* There is no evidence^ however, that he 
did sa With 1777 we get upon surer ground. The 
pocket-book is extant to help us, and to show that busy as 
he was in the studio, he yet found time for even more than 
his usual recreations. Dinner engagements are entered 
almost nightly. Among his hosts we find the Dukes of 
Bedford and Marlborough, Lords Edgcumbe, Pahnerston, 
Upper Ossory, Carysfort, Lucan, Aylesford, Mulgrave and 
Shelburne ; George Colman, Garrick, Cumberland, Banksi 
Sir Thomas Milk, Langton Beauclerc, Gibbon, Sheridan, 
and Boswell ; Mrs. Ord, Mrs. Vesey, Mrs. Montagu, Mrs. 
Walungham, Mrs. Boscawen, and Mrs. Cholmondeley ; the 
intervals bong filled in with symposia at his various dubs, 
and with his support of Sheridan in his new venture at 
Drury Lane. 

" Flood, the gteat IiuH oritor, who hid recently abandoned oppod- 
tuMi for office, ii Sir Joshua's guest dnring the ritit he paid to London 
to Jannuy, introdnced to the Preiident, donbtle^, bj their mntoal 
friend Lord Chorlemont, or perhaps hj Hely Hntchmion, who atva 
failed when in town to visit Sir Jothna. Another Irish goeit was 
Jephton, Master of the Horse to the Lord Lieutenant, with his laurels 
as the author of Bragaxxa still fresh, and soliciting the interest of 

* Sbewas the daughter of ColonelThomuChudlcigh,ofConiWDod, 
near Plymonth. 



Garrick for the new ttagtdj, FittllU. Then i* ■ Sondif engagement 
with Gibbon, not ^t a Loid of Trade, but a pleainre-lonng, kU- 
inddgent, though neither idle nor nnobserrant, man about town, with 
a Kat in the ConunoDi for Liakeard, membet of all the dubi from 
Almack't to the Turk") Head, welcomed in the bat locie^, literuy, 
political, and fathionable, and drinking in with delight the ioceue cA 
prai*e and luccen. The fint Tolnme of hii hiitorj had appeared in 
177^- It was just at tUi time that he waa goulpiag gail/ to Moln^d : 
' Town fills, and we are aLghtj agreeable — lait fear, on the Qoeen'i 
birthday. Sir G. Warren had hit diamond itar cnt off hit coat ; thii d^ 
the lame acddent happened to him again with another star. . . .! 
Six Joshua might condole with Sir Geo^ (whom he knew, and both of 
whose beautifn) wives he painted) ; for had he not lost his gold laced 
hat and watch at the installation of the Koighti of the Gaiter caAj a 
Utde before ? ' " • 

The painter andthe historian sometimes played tc^ther, 
for on March 1 1 in this year's pocket-book there is an 
entry for dinner and the masquerade with Gibbon. As 
for Sheridan, Sir Joshua never fuls at Drury Lane on the 
[Mtxluction of a new [»ece, and it is ngnificant that the 
night he chooses is now generally the third, when the 
profits go to the author. In February he sees the Trip te 
Scarhorougit, Sheridan's toned-down version of Vanbrugh's 
Relate, and in May he enjojrs the young dramatist's 
triumph in the School far Seatidal. In the former his old 
friend, Mrs. Abington, was the Mtss Hoyden, while 
another lady, whose features he was to help in immortalis- 
ing, Mrs. "Perdita" Robinson, exhibited, appropriately 
enough, endangered virtue in Amanda. The Academy 
contuned thirteen pictures by Sir Joshua. They were 
full lengths of Lady Frances Marsham,! Lady Dtrh'jA 

* t.eslie and Taylor. 

t Lady Francei Wjrndham, daughter of the Earl of Egremont ; ihe 
was afterwards Conntesi of Rcann^. The picture now belongs to Lord 

X Lady Elizabeth Hamilton, daughter of James, sixth Dnke of 



Lady Bampfylde,* a. group of Francis, Duke of Bedford, 
Lords John and Willtam Russell, and their couun. Miss 
Vemon,t Lady CaroHne Montagu Scott,t " a Lady," *' a 
aergyman,"5 "a Lady and Child,"| *' a Gentleman," 
*•■ Child Asleep,"t "The Fortune Teller,"** "a Young 
Nobleman," and " a Reading Boy."tt 

In 1777 Sir Joshua's chief occupation in the studio was 
with the 6unous groups for the Dilettanti Society. The 
[HCtures are so well known — they were for some years in 

Hamiltoa, tad Elizabeth Gnoaing. The pictnre ii uid to hare been 
de«tro7«d b;^ her hatband. 

* Danghter <£ Admiral Sir John Moore, K.C.B. The picture paned 
from the collection of Lord Pohimoie into that of Mr. Al&ed d« 

t See GraTei and Crooin for note* oa thii pictnre. 

t Daughter (rf Charlei, fourth Dnke of Bncdench. The pictue i* 
at Dalkeith. 

5 The " Dr. Wattrai," now in the Univenitj' Gallery, Oxford. 

|[ Z^adj Elizabeth Herbert and her ion, now at Hi^iclere. See 
Gram and Cronin for an inteietting note on thi* pictore. 

4 Cnpid ileeping in the Qoadi ; the picture ii at Highclere. 

** Two of the Marlboroagh childien ; now in the coUection of Sir 
Charlea Tennant, Bart. 

tt Now in the poaietuon of Lwd Normantm, at Scmerlcy. L. and 
T. have ■ miileading note on thii picture. la a letter to Lord Otmy 
(December 17, 1776), Walpole mention) two of thii year'i picture* : " I 
hare aeen the picture of ' St. George * (the Bedford family groap), and 
a pproTC the Duke of Bedford's head and the exact likeneM of Miu 
Venion ; but the attitude i* mean and fooliih, and eicprenei only nlly 
wtsiderment. Beit of all — delicioni — ii a pictnre of a little girl of the 
Duke of Bucclench, who ii overlaid with a long cloak, bonnet, and mnfE, 
m the midit of the now, and it pcrithing, blue and red with cold, bat 
loob to tmiling and good-humoured that one longt to cati:b her up in 
ooe'i ami, and kiii her till the it in a tweat and tqualli." Min Vernon 
wat toon afterwardt betrothed to the Earl of Warwid^ when Walpole 
writei to Lady Otmy (June 10, 1777), " Doei not MiM Vernon think 
it would have been moie hinoric to have drawn her accompanying 
Eari Gay, when he ilew the Don Cow, than St. George killing the 




the National Gallery — that they need no descriptioii here.* 
Many uttinga for them ar« entered in 1777 ; the pocket- 
book for 1 778 is mianng, but one sitting occurs as late as 
February, 1779. Soon after the pictures were painted 
they began to cause anxiety, and in the early years of the 
present century many reports on their state were made to 
the Dtlettand. In 1 805 the punt was scaling off in many 
places, but nothing hercuc seems to hare been done until 
1820, when they were doctored by Bigg, RA., at consi- 
derable expense. The measures taken seem to have been 
effectual, for both groups are now in fair condition for 
Sr Joshuas. In the punter's attvre they are remarkaUe 
chiefly for the success, or rather want of non-success, with 
which he has combined so many figures on comparativdy 
small canvases. As a rule he showed himself quite unfit 
for such a task, and most of the pictures in wUch many 
figures occur — the "Infant Hercules," the "Ugolino," 
the " Death of Cardinal Beaufort," the " Continence cf 
Scipio," for instances — are without anything that can be 
reasonably called design. The Dilettanti groups are 
artificial, no doubt; we can see easily enough that an effort 
has been made to give pretty much the same importance 
to each figure ; but there is a pattern, and a fiurly agree- 
able one. The real weak point in their de»gn might have 
been readily avoided. It is merely, I think, that the 
canvases are too smalL If Reynolds had g^ven his figures 
a little more elbow room, leaving thor mutu^ relations 
otherwise unchanged, the result would have been more 

* Hic fint group conutt* of Conttudne, Mcond Loird Mnlgt»c ; 
T&onui, ofterwardi Lord, Dondai ; Kenneth, Bail of Seaforth ; Hon. 
Clurlei Greville ; Charlei Crowle ; Z^ord Caimirthai, ■fterward* fiftk 
Duke of Leedi ; utd JoKph, afterward* Sir Jotvph, BmkM. The Ncond 
ponp contain! Sir Watiin Williami Wjnn, Bart. ; JcJm, afterward* Sir 
John, Taylor, Bart. ; Stephen Fajne Galbrej, Sir Wlliam Hamiltgo, 
W, Spencei Stanhope, Richard Thompton, and John Lewin SmTth, 


Alfred iib Koihschim), Esq. 




satia&ctory. There was nothing in the Sodety's conditions, 
to far u I can discover, to prevent this being done. 

Leslie has a cnnous parsgra^ih under the date of 1777. 
''Politically," he says, "the year must have been a dispirit* 
ing one to Reynolds, and all who thou^t as he did of 
the American War. The tide of success seemed to be 
nuuung strong and steadily for the mother country." It 
it difficult to discover on what grounds he bases this 
startling assertion. Reynolds, of course, was the friend 
of Burke, but his acquaintance with Johnson was quite as 
dose. So far as I can find out, he never gave expression, 
at any time, to such political notions as those on which 
the opposition to til constraint c^ our colonics was 
founded. He had an opinion, and backed it, as to which 
nde had the best prospects of military success, but that 
g^ves us no right to assume that he wished for the defeat 
of the mother country. Politically he was an opportunist, 
with a leaning towards the side of Burke and Fox deter- 
nuned by nothing more profound than those social 
predilections which had brought him acquainted with 
more Wh^ than Tories. Leslie's talk of his *' despon- 
dency," under the political conditions of the time, seems 
to be quite unwarranted either by evidence or by what we 
know of his general character. It is pretty certain that 
neith«' the capture of PhiladelpUa nor the surrender at 
Seratc^a disturbed the even tenour of his life. 

The other chief events of the year, for Sir Joshua, were 
the painting of the great Marlborough Family [ncture, now 
at Blenheim, and the election of Sheridan to the Club. 
To the Blenhdm picture reference will be made presently, 
when we come to discuss the painter's contributions to 
the Academy of 1778. As for Sheridan's election, it 
took place In March, on the initiative of Johnson. The 
Hivahf the Duenna, and the 7H/> A Scarhrough, Sfaeri- 



dan's veruon of Vanbnigh's Relapse^ had already been 
pnxluced, the latest and least successAil only a few days 
before. By two of them, probably the RivtUs and the 
Duenna, Johnson had justified his proposal of thdr author. 
" He who has written," he sud, **the two best comedies 
of his age, is surely a considerable man." He must have 
purred when his judgment was so ^gnally confirmed, 
within two mcmths of the election, by that first night 
which gave to the English stage its finest comedy unce 
Shakespeare. The School for Scandal started on its great 
career in May, 1777. 



J778— 1783 

\IR JOSHUA only sent four pictures to 
the Exhibition of 1778, a year in wtuch 
his brush was less active than it had ever 
been before. One of his contributions, 
however, was the Marlborough group 
mendoned in the last chapter ; the 
others were a half-length of Dr. Markham, Dean of 
Christ Church and Archbishop of York,* and whole-kngtiis 
of John Campbell, afterwards Lord Cawdor,t and of his 
uster Sarah, afterwards Mrs. Wodehouse.i^ In the Blen- 
heim group Reynolds scored a triumph, for which little 
in his previous work had prepared his friends. Once be- 
fore, indeed, he had brought several figures tc^ether 
without confumon — in the [>icture of the three Mont- 
gomeries — but as a rule he had shown a want of capacity 
to invent an arabesque that was at once complex and 
coherent. The fact is curious, for not many painters 
have put more thought into their work than he, or been 
more fruitful in happy ideas. To some extent reluctance, 
rather than incapacity, to arrange accounts for the short- 
conung. We know that side by side with his respect for 

* The picture hangt in Chiin Chotcli haU. 
t Id the pouetuon of the Earl of Cawdor. 
X In Lord Hillingdcni'i ccJlection. 



the principles of the great style, he had a profound belief 
in the superiority of nature over art. In the " Lady 
Cockburn," for instance, and the " Lady Smithy" he fell 
into confusion through being seduced by the idea that a 
swarm of babies, crawling over their mother, would en- 
chant on canvas as it does in the nursery. He forgot 
that the living charm of youths flesh, the free play of 
childish limbs, and the kaleidoscopic variation of childish 
contours, would not be there to help him. He forgot, 
in short, that art is great by what it makes, and not by 
what it imitates. To be suggestive is an added glory to 
art, but it must not depend upon suggestion. Its bu^ness 
is to create, and its creatioos should be as self-contained 
as those of nature. Some critics — Northcote among 
them — have quoted the Marlborough Family as a proof 
that " Reynolds could not manage a crowded composition." 
To me it seems the only real exception to the truth of 
that dictum, for the '* Ladies decorating a Term of 
Hymen," the " Sisters Waldegrave," and one or two others 
in which three figures are happily comtnned, cannot be 
called crowded. Even now, with its division of Itg^t and 
shade obscured by the degradation of the tones, it falls into 
an agreeable pattern both in depth and elevation. The 
scheme, no doubt, is artificial The Duchess stands in the 
centre and fonm the apex to a pyramid <^ which tiie 
Duke and his heir, on her right, and her two elder 
daughters, on her left, supply the slopes. The youi^ 
children in the foreground contrast hap[nly nith their 
elders by the irresponubility of thdr action, while tiiey 
help the space-composition. The background, irith its 
statue of Mars, is not ill conceived. It was not always as 
we see it now, for Reynolds altered it after the picture 
went home from Somerset House. The other pictures of 
the year are all among Sir Joshua's successes, especially 




the half-length of Dr. Markham in his robes. For simple 
djgtaty, comlnned with breadth of execution and general 
warmth of tone and colour, it holds its own with any 
portrait he ever punted. 

Johnson sat this year. He writes to Mrs. Thrale on 
the 15th of October : "I have sat twice to Sir Joshua, 
and he seems to like his own peHbrmance. He has pro- 
jected another, in which I am to be busy ; but we can 
tiunk on it at Idsure ; " and again (31st October): "Sar 
Joshua has finished my picture, and it aeems to please 
everybody ; but I shall wwt to see how it pleases you.'* 
Other utters were Edmund Malone, now become one 
of Sir Joshua's intimates, Lord Lucan, the Parker children. 
Lady Beaumont, Lord Broome, Mrs. Payne-Gallwey and 
child. Lord Vaughan, Mr. Bampfylde, and Mr. and Mrs, 
Huddesford. Huddesford was a son of the President of 
Trinity, Oxford, and a former pupil of Reynolds himself. 
He had become known as a sort of Peter Pindar, and had 
this year puUished a poem on the soldiering fever of the 
time, called " Warl^, a Satire." It was dedicated to Sir 
Joshua, who had just finished his fine portrut of Lady 
Worsley in that uniform of the Hants Militia which she 
had been displaying at Warley Camp, as the livery of a 
husband who was to divorce her not long afterwards. 

Outnde the studio the chief event of the year for Sir 
Joshua was probably the publication of Evelina and his 
introduction to its author. The novel appeared at the 
end of January, but it was not until September that 
Reynolds and his two nieces encountered Miss Bumey at 
Streatham. The punter had read the book, sacrifidng a 
night's sleep to get to the end, and had told Mrs. Thrale 
that he would give fifty pounds to meet the then anony- 
mous author. His important in the lady's eyes is proved 
by the entry in her diary : '* He (Sot Joshua) several rimes 
ia9 I 



spoke to me, though he did not make love." Mrs. Thnk 
lud already hinted to "Little Burney"thatR7n<^dawould 
make a denrable husband. The two were Kxm indmate 
friends, and the glimpses we catch of the painter in the 
lady's diary are inrariably pleasant, Inthissune year, on 
the 3rd of April, Sir Joshua formed one of a dinner party (at 
the club ?), when the talk was more than usually good, and 
even more than usually well repeated by Boswdl. 

Boike Mjt : " I have been looking at thit f uuont antique marble dog 
of Mr. Jenningi, valued at a tfaouaand gtuneu, aaid to be Alciblid«i* 
dog." Johnaon: "HU tail, then, moat be docked. That wu the 
mark of Akibiadei' dog." " A thonaand gnineai 1 " criet Bnikc " The 
representatioa of no animal whatever it worth >o much. At thii rate a 
dead dog would, indeed, be better than a living lion." 

Johnson, who is debited widi such perverse views on 
art, answers : 

" Sir, it ii not the worth of the thing, bnt the ikOl in fonoing it, 
which i* to highly estimated. Everything that enlarges the iphere <d 
human powen, ^t ihowt man he can do what he thought he coold not 
do, if valnable. The fint mas who balanced a ttiaw on hia noie; 
Johnion, who rode upon three hortea at a time ; in ihort, all tnch men 
deaerved the applante of mankind, not on account of the nie of what 
the7 did, bnt of the dexterity which they exhibited." 

In the next passage the rSles are reversed : it is Burice 
who hits upon at least a partial truth, and Johnson, Bos- 
well, and Reynolds who contest it. 

£. (Burice) ; " We hear prodigioui complaint* at pieient of emigratioa. 
I am convinced that emigration makei a conntiy more populooi." 
J. (Reyn<ddi) : "That lonndt very much like a paradox." Bmke: 
" Exportatkm cS men, like ecputation of all other commoditiei, mika 
more to be produced." Johnton : " Bnt there would be more people 
were there not emigration, provided there were food for more." Burke: 
"No; leave a few breeder!, and youll have more people than if thoe 
were no emigration." Johnion : **Nay, Sir, it ii plain there will be more 
peo^ if there are more bieeden. Thir^ cow* in a pMtnre wiU 


Eari. Of- Ckehe 




pfodnce more cmtret than ten cowi, provided the^ hare good bnlll.** 
Bo^ : ** There ve bolU enongh id Ireland. " Johiuon (snulio^ : 
** So, Sir, I ihoinld think from yoor aignment." "... Burke ; " Frant 
tbe o^erience I hare had — and I have had a great deal — I haTS learnt 
to think bitUr of mankind." Johnwa : " From mjr oipcrience, I have 
found them woite in commcrdil dealings, mare diipoied to cheat, than 
I had any notion of ; bnt mcne ditpoaed to do cne another good than I 
lud conceind." Rcyni^dt : " Lch jntt and more beneficeBt." 

Six days later tax Joshua had a dinner and party 
afterwards at his own house. The guests at dinner 
were : Johnson, Gibbon, Owen Cambridge, Bennet 
Langton, Allan Ramsay, Boswell, and the Bishop 
of St. Asaph. The classics governed the talk. Bos- 
well's report is sprinkled as freely mth the dead 
languages as a speech in Parliament of a century ago. The 
" rich assemblage " which awutcd the diners in the 
dtawing-room included Garrick, Dr. Percy, Dr. Burney» 
Mrs. Cholmondeley, Miss Hannah More, and Mr. Harris, 
of Salisbury. Boswell " gets into a corner with Johnson, 
Garrick, and Harris," so our further knowledge of the 
evening is limited to this quartet. A ft»tnight later, on 
the 25th <^ April, Sir Joshua entertuned again, the com- 
pany including Johnson, Boswell, Dr. Musgrave, the 
editor of Euripides, Leland, the son of the Irish Anti- 
quarian, Mrs. Cholmondeley, Miss Reynolds, and other 
ladies. A discussion arose as to how a man should tepXy 
to an author asking a serious opinion on his own work 
and advice whether to publish or not. Reynolds makes 
the sound answo* : 

" Yon matt, npon inch an occation, have two jni^menti ; one at to 
dte real value of the wnk, the other at to what may pleaae the geneial 
taite of the time.*' 

* It it a pity Butke could not quote the modem game-preterrer*! 




Johnson's answer is one of our documents for die 
dghteenth century : 

" Bnt yoa can be wrv erf nrithfr ; ind therefore I ihoold icraide 
mnch to give ■ lai^neMiTe vote. BothGoIdnnitli'i ccunediei were once 
refased; hit fint bf Gairick, hi* fccood I7 Colnun, who wu prerailed 
on at but, b^ mnch solidtaticxi, n».y, a kind of force, to bring it on. 
Hit flem- fflFahfiiJJ I mTielf did not think wonid have mnch niccett. 
It wu written, and wild to a boobeller, before hii TiwtUtr, bnt pob- 
liihed after — 10 little expectation had the bocAteller from it. Had it 
been lold after Tb Tratitlltr, he might hare had twice u mnch mone^ 
for it. Thongh tixtf goineu waa no mean price. The bookieller had 
the advantage o£ Goldimith'i reputation from The TmtUtr in the aale, 
thoogb Goldimith had it not in telling the copf." 

In the drawing-room agun they find ** a con^derabte 
increase of company," and Johnson propounds the excel- 
lent rule for a man's taildng of himself, that he should 
only assert simple facts, such as can be tested with the 
yard measure. It was a few days later that the dinner with 
Paoli took {dace, when Johnson used his club to Reynolds 
over the question of inne. 

" Botwell," laid Johnion, " ii a bolder combatant than Sir Jodma; 
he arguei for wine without the help of wine,* but Sir Joahna with it" 
R^ntddi : " Bat to pleate one*i company ii a itrong motiTe,** Johnion 
(irfko from drinking only water nippoied everybody who drank wine to 
be elerated) : " I won't argue any more with you. Sir. Yon are too &r 
g(»ie.'* Reynoldi : " I ihonld hare thought to, indeed, Sir, had I made 
tuch a ipeech at yon iiaTc now done," Johniim (drawing himaeU in, 
and, I really thought, bluihing) : " Nay, don't be angiy. I did not 
mean to offend yon." 

Four days afterwards Sir Joshua gave die dinner to a 
lai^ company, including Ursa Major and his leader, at 
which *' there were several people by no means of the 
Johnsonian school," with the result that the neglected 
Doctor turned upon poor Boswell andijso rent him that it 
took a week to heal the wounds. 

* It tnu dnring Boawell*! teetotal experiment. 


Su- Joshua's idea of Johnson need not, however, be 
taken at second hand. He wrote two imaginaiy dialogues 
which portray the "great cham of literature" quite as 
Tividly as his ptunted pictures. In the shorter and better 
of the two, Johnson's antagonist is Reynolds himself.* 

"Rbtnoum.— Let me alo&e. 1*11 bring him out. [JtiAJ} ... I 
bave been thinking, Dr. Johuoo, thi> moraing on a nutter diat hu 
ponied me Tciy much ; it ii a nibject that I daretay hat often paued 
in jronr thon^tt, and thongh / cannot, I daie U7 yn han made up 
f onr Dtind nptm It. 

" JosmoN.— TiUr ttSy I wbtx ii all this preparatioa i What i> all 
thi> wdgli^ matter I 

" R. — ^Whj, it i> a veiy weigh^ matter. The nbject I haTe been 
thinking upon it Predestination and Free Will, two things I cannot 
tcconcile together for the lif e of me ; in mjr opinion. Dr. Johnatm, free 
will and foreknowledge cannot be reconciled. 

"J. — Sir, itii notof Teiy great importance what jour o^nion it upon 
inch a qnettion. 

" R. — But I meant only. Doctor j., to know joni opinion. 

"J. — No, Sir, yon meant no mcb thing; jon meant only to thow theie 
gentlemen that yon are not the man th^ took yon to be, bnt that yon 
think of high mattert tometimet, and that yon may have the credit 
of having it uid that yon held an argument with Sam Johnaon on pre- 
dettination and free will — a inbject of that magnitode at to hare engaged 
the attention of the world, to have perplexed the witdom id man for 
thete two thontand yean ; a inbject on which the fallen angeli, who iaj 
ja «tf 111 ailtitir ariffnal bri^tntit, find themtelvea m madmifg maztt 
kit. That tnch a mbject could be ditcntied in the IcTity of convivial 
coovcrution, ii a degree of abtordiqr b^ond what ii eatily conceivable. 

" Th^ were firtt piinted, privately, by I.ady Thomond, in 1816. 
They were fint pnbUihed in Croker*t Boiwell in 1838. Lady Thomond 
•ent a cofj to Hannah More, who in writing her thonb »yi : " Dear 
Sir Joihna, even with kii inimitable pencil, sever drew more interetting, 
more retembling portrait* : I hear them all ipcak, I tee every action, 
every gettnie which accompanied every word. I hear the deep-toned 
and indignant accenti of onr friend JohntOB ; I hear the affected periodt 
of <Sbbon ; the natural, the eaiy, the friendly, the elegant language, the 
poliibed tarcaim, uftened with the iwcet temper of Sir Jothaa." Thit 
iener it dated 15 March, 1820. 




" R.— It ii M, u JOS uy, to be not ; I talked oooe to our fiiend 
Garrtd upoa this iiibjcc^ but I cemember we conld make nothing c^ it. 

"1.-0, noble pair! 

" R. — Ganid wai a derer fellaw. Dr. J. ; Gairick, take him alto- 
gether, wai certaialj a very great man. 

" J.— Ganick, Sir, miy be a great man in jronr opinion, aa far aa I 
know, but he wai not k> in mine ; little thing* are great to little men. 

" R. — I hare heard yon aaj. Dr. Johntoo^— 

** J. — Sir, 70a nerer heaid me laf that Darid Gairick waa a gnat 
man ; 70a may hare heard me ny that Garrick wat a good repeatci^— of 
other men'a woidi — wordi pat into hi* month by other men ; thla makei 
bat a faint approach towardt being a great man. 

" R.^Bnt take Garrick upon the whole, now, in rtgaid to confer- 

" J. — Well, Sir, in r^ard to coftTetiation : I never diicoreted in die 
oasreiMtioo of David Ganick any intellactaal cneigy, any wide graip 
of tbonght, and exteniiTe compreheniiaii of mind, or that he powe a a e d 
any of thote powen to which pwt conU with any degree of pioprie^ 
be applied. 

" R.— But atill 

**J. — Hold, Sir, I have not d«te. There are, to be fare, in the laxity 
of oolloqnial ipeech, vaiioiu kindi of greitneM ; a man may be a great 
tobacconiat, a men may be a great painter, he may be likewiie a gnat 
mimic ; now, you may be the me and Ganick die other, and yet neitlMr 
of yon be great men. 

« R.— But, Dr. Johaion 

"J. — Hold, Sir! It have often lamented liow dangerona it ii to 
tnveatigate and diaoiminate character to men who hare no ditcrimiaative 

" R> — ^Bnt Garrid, aa a companion, I heard yon uy — no longer ago 
than lait Wednesday, at Mn. Tlirale'a ublfr 

" J> — Yen teaae me. Sir. WIuUtct yon may iuve heard me lay, no 
longer ago dian laat Wedneaday, at Mn. Thrale'i uble, I tell yon I do 
not lay lo now ; beaidea, aa I aaid before, yon may not have undentood 
me, yon miiapprehended me, yon may not have heard me. 

" R- — I am very anre I heard jom, 

" J. — Bcfidei, beaidc» Sir, betidei — do yon not know— are you ao igno- 
rant u not to know — that it is the highest d^ree of mdenoa to qoote 
a man against iiinuelf ? 

" R. — But if yoa difier fram yooiaeU, and ^ve one opinion to-day^^ 

"J. — ^Have done, Sir; the company, yon lee, are tired, aa wdl a* 



The second dialogue exhilnts Johnson on the odier tick. 
Gibbon has been belittling Garrick, and the Doctor takes 
up the defence of his property. 

" JoBxaoN. — No, Sir ; Garrick'i fune wai prodigiout, not onl^ JB 
RngbnH, bat over all Enrc^. Even io Riutu I have been told he wu 
c pioveib ; wlien any one had repeited well, he wu called a Kcond 

"GissoK. — I think he hid foil ts much repnUtion as lie descTved. 

** J. — I do not pretend to know, Sii, what yoat meaning may be, b^ 
taking he had at much lepntation ai he dcKTred ; he deaerred mach 
and he had mach. 

** G. — Wbj satdf, Dr. Johnton, hii merit was in imall things onl^ ; 
be had none of those qnalitiei which make a real great man. 

" J. — Sir, I as little nnderstand what jonr meaning maj be, when 70a 
■peak of the qoalitie* that make a great man; it is a vagoe term. 
Garrick was no common man ; a man abore the common size erf men 
mMj nreljr, without ai^ great impr^Hety, be called a great man. In 
my ojmucMi he has VKiy reasonabl;r folfiUed the prophecy which he once 
reminded me of havii^ made to his mother, when the asked me how 
littte David went on at school, that I should saj to her he would come 
to be banged, or come to be a great man. No, Sir, it it nndoabtedly 
troe that the same qualitiei, united with virtue or with rice, make a 
hero or a rogue, a great general or a highwayman. Now, Garrick, we 
are aoie, was never hanged, and in regard to being a great man, you 
most take the whole man together. It must be contidered in how 
many thingi Garrick excelled in which every man desires to eicel; 
setting uide his excellence as an actor, in which he it acknowledged to 
be aarivaUed, at a man, u a poet, as a convivial companion, yon will find 
bnt few his equals, and none his superior. As a man, he was kind, 
&iendly, benevolent, and generous. 

** G. — Of Garrick't geneiosity I never heard ; I nnderstood his cha- 
racter to be totally the reverse, and that he wai reckoned to have bved 

" J. — ^That he loved money nobody wiQ dispute ; who does not I bnt 
if yon mean, by loving money, that he was panimoniout to a fault. Sir, 
yon have been misinformed. To Foote and such tcoundreli, who circu- 
lated thote reports, 10 tuch profligate ipendthriftt, prudence is meanneta, 
and econon^ is avarice. That Garrick in early yonth was brought np in 
strict habits of economy I believe, and that diey were necessary I have 
heard from himself; to suppose that Garrick might inadvertently act 
fr<Hn this habit, and be saving in small things, can be no wonder ; bnt 



let it be nmembered at the ume time that, if he wu frngal front habit, 
he waf liberal from priaciple ; that when he acted from reflectioo he did 
what hii fortune enabled him to do, and what wai expected bom toch a 
fbrttme. I remember no initance of David'i panimony bnt once, iriien 
he itopped Mn. Woffingtoa from rcpleniihing the teapot ; it wai aliei^, 
he Mid, as ted u blood ; and thi* initaace ii donbtful, and happened 
manj yean ago. In the latter pan of hif life I obierred no blameable 
paitimony in David ; hit table wa* elegant and even iplendid ; hia honae, 
both in town and coo&tiy, hii equipage, and I think all hit habitt of 
life, were inch at might be expected from a man who had acqoiied great 
riches. In regard to hit generosity, which 70U leem to question, I shall 
onty lay, there is no man to whom I would apply, with more confidence 
of success, for the loan of two hundred pounds to assin a common friend, 
than to David, and this, too, with yaj little, if any, probability of its 
being repaid. 

" G. — You were going to say something of him at a writet. Yon 
don't rate him very high as a poet 1 

"J. — Sir, a man may be a respectable poet widout being a Homer, 
at a man may be a good player without being a Gairick. In the lighter 
Idnds of poetry, in the appendages of the drama, he wu, ii not the first, 
in the very first class. He had a readiness and facility, a dezteri^ of 
mind, that appeared extraordinary even to men of experience, and who 
are not apt to wonder from ignorance. Writing prologues, epilogues, 
and epigrams he laid he considered at his trade, and he was, what a man 
thonld be, always and at all times ready at his trade. He required two 
bours for a proline or epilogue, and five minutes for an epigram. Once 
at Burke's table the company proposed a subject, and Garrick finished 
hia epigram within the time ; die tame experiment was repeated in the 
garden, with the same success. 

" G. — Garrick had some flippancy of parts, to be sure, and waa brisk 
and lively in company, and I^ the help of mimicry and stor7-telling 
made himielf a pleasant cranpanion ; bnt here the whole worid gave the 
tnperiori^r to Foote, and Garrick himself seems to have felt at if hit 
geoiut was rebuked by the superior powers of Foote. It has been often 
observed that Garrick never dared to enter into competition with him, 
but vrat content to act an under part to brii^ Foote out. 

" J. — That this conduct of Garrick't might be interpreted by the 
gross mindt of Foote and his friends as if he wat afraid to encounttr 
him, I can easily imagine. Of the actual tuperiority of Garrick over 
Foote, this conduct it an instance; he disdained entering into compe- 
titxm with such a fellow, and made him the buffoon of the company — 
or, at you ny, brought him out. And ^rfiat wat at last brought ont but 


rftf Marqutss ff Lansdnrt'lit 






Goane jeit* and vnlgai roenime&t, mdeceiic7 md impe^, a rektion of 
ercnt* which, npon the face of them, could Dercr have happened, cha- 
lactert coanel^ conceiTed and coaitefy repreaented 1 Foote wu eren 
no mimic; he went oat of himself, it u trae, but without going into 
another man ; he wai excelled bf Gatru^ eren in thii, which ii con- 
tideied ai Foote'i greatett excellence. Ganick, betide* hii exact imita- 
tion of the voice and geatoie of liit original, to a degree of refinement 
<rf which Foote had no ccnception, exhibited the mind and mode of 
thinking of the penon imitated. Bei:de«, Gairick confined hit powen 
within the Hmia of decency ; he had a character to preterre, Foote had 
iKme. By Footc't bufioonery and broad-faced merriment, piivate 
friendahip, public decency, and ererythisg eitimable among men, were 
trod underfoot. We all know the difference of their reception in the 
world. No man, however high in rank or literature, but wai proud to 
know Garrick, and wu glad to have him at hii table ; no man ever cm- 
aidered or tieatcd Garrick at a pbyer ; he may be taid to lutve itepped 
out of hit own rank into a higher, and by raiting himaelf he raited the 
roidt of hit profettion. At a amviviat table, hit exhilarating powert 
were unrivalled ; he wat lively, entertaining, quick in difceming the 
lidicttle of life, and at ready in repieientisg it ; and on graver tubjecti 
there were few topici in vriiich he could not bear hit part. It it injorioui 
to the character of Garrick to be named in the tame breath at Foote. 
That Foote wat admitted lometimet in good company (to do the man 
vriut credit I can) I will allow, but then it wat merely to play tricki ; 
Foote't merriment wat that of a bnfiora, and Garrick*! that of a 

" G. — I have been t^, on the contrary, that Garrick in company 
Iiad not the eaty mannert of a gentleman. 

"J, — I don't know what yon may have been told, or what your ideal 
may be of the mannert of gentlemen ; Garrick had no vulgarity in hit 
mannen ; it it true Garrick had not the airinett of a fop, nor did he 
attune an affected indifference to what wat patting ; he did not lonnge 
from the table to the window, and from thence to the fire, or, whilit 
yoa were addreinng you ditcounea to him, torn from yon and talk to 
your next neighbour, (» give any indication that he wat tired of hit 
company ; if tuch maniten form youi ideal <rf a fine gentleman, Garridc 
certainly had them not. 

" G. — I mean that Garrick wat more overavred by the pretence of the 
great, and moK obteqniont to rank, than Foote, vrbo coniidered ^■^""flf 
u their equal, and treated them with the tame familiarity at they treat 
each other. 

"J.— He did to, and vrhat did the fellow get i^ it ? The g 



of hit mind pierented him from feeing that thit funiliarity wai raadf 
tnSered aa the^ would pla7 mth a d^ ; he got no ground I7 affecting 
to call peen b^ their fomunet ; the fooliih fdlow imagined that lowering 
them wa* raiting himielf to their lerel ; thit afiectation oi bmilitritj 
with the great, thi* childiih ambition of momeataiy exaltation obtained 
by the neglect of thoae ceremoniei which cnitom hit establiihed u 
barrien between one order of aodeqr and another, only ihowed hii bsSlf 
and mcanneai ; he did not tee that bj encroaching on other*' dignity he 
put himadf in th«ir power, either to be repdled with helplen indignity, 
or endnred by demmcy and condeKennon. Garrick, by paying due 
napeet to rank, respected himaelf ; what he gave wa* returned, and 
what WM retained he kept for ever; hii adyanccment wai tm firm 
gronnd, he wai recogniwd in pnblic ai well m respected in private ; and 
ai no nun wa> erer more courted and better received by the public, » 
no man wa* ever leat spoiled by ia fiattny. Gairick continued advanc- 
ing to the last, till he had acquired every advantage that high birth or 
title could beatow, except the precedence of going into ■ room, but 
when he was there he was treated with a* much attention a* the fim 
man at the uble. It ia to the credit of Garrick that he nerer laid claim 
to thi* dittinction, — it was as voluntarily allowed at if it had been hi* 
birthii^t. In thi*, I confess, I looked oa David mth tome degree of 
envy, not so much for the respect he received, ai for the manner of 
it* being acquired ; what fell into his lap unsought I have been forced 
to claim. I began the world by fighting my mj. Hiere wa* some- 
thing about me that invited iniult, or at least a dispotition to oe^ect, 
and I wat equally disposed to repel insult, and to claim attentioo, and, 
I feir, continne too much in thi* disposition aovr that it ia no longer 
necetiary; I recave at pretent a* much favour at I have a ri^t to 
expect. I am not one of the complainen of the n^lect of merit. 

" G.—Tim- preteniiont. Dr. Johnion, nobody will dispute ; I cannot 
place Garrick on the same footii^; your reputation will oontinne 
increasing after your death, when Garrick will be tota% forgot ; you 
will be lot ever contideml a clattic 

** J.— Enough, Sir, enough ! Tlie C3»npany would be better pleased 
to tee na quarrel than bandying compliments. 

** G. — Bat yon must allow, Dr. Johnson, that Garrick vrit too modi 
a slave to fame, or rather to the mean ambition of living with the great, 
tdriUy afraid of making himself cheap, even with them ; by which he 
debarred himtelf of much pleasant society. Employing so much atten- 
tion and so much management upon inch little things implies, I think, 
a little mind. It watobserved by his friend Cohnan that he neverwcnt 
into company bat with a plot how to get out of it ; he was every 



minote called oat, tad went on, off , or retunietl, u there wu, or wm 
not, a probabili^ of hit (hining, 

" J.— In legard to thi* mean ambition, u jan oil it, of living witb 
die great, what mu the bout oi Pope, and ii trrerj nun'i wiifa, can be 
no reproach to Gaitick; he who M71 he de«pi>ei it, knows he lie*; that 
Garrick hubsided his fame, the fame he liad jnttly acquired, both at 
die theatre and at the table, ii not denied ; bnt irixie ii the blame, 
either in the one or the other, of leaving ai little at he could to chance t 
Bendea, Sir, amnder what j'on have uid : joa fint daij Garrick*! pre- 
tenaiont to fame, and then accue him ci too great attention to preaem 
what he never potaewed. 

" G. — I don't imdentand— ^ 

" J. — Sir, I caa't help that. 

** G.— Well, but, Dr. Johnion, joa will not vindicate him in hit over 
and above attentitMa to hi* fame, inordinate desire to exhibit himself to 
new men, like a coqnet ever tteking after new conqneits, to the total 
neglect of old friendi and admiren : — 

* He threw off hit friends like a hnntiman hit pack ; * 

ahva^ looking oat for new game. 

" J. — When yon qnoted the line faom G^dimith, yoa Mi^t, in fair- 
ness to have given what ftdlowed : — 

' He knew, when he pleased, he conld whittle them back ; ' 
which impUet at least that he poateiaed a power over other men's minds 
approaching to fascination. Bnt consider, Sir, what Is to be done: 
hue is a man whom every other man deiired to know, Garrick conld 
not receive and cnltivate all, acoirding to each man's conception of hit 
own value — we are all apt enough to consider outsehca as possessing a 
light to be excepted fran the common crowd ; besides, Sir, I do not 
see why that should be imputed to him as a crime which we all to 
irresiltibfy feel and practise ; we all make a greater ezettioo in the 
pretence of new men than tdd acquaintance. It is undoubtedly tne 
that Garrkk divided his attention among so many that bnt little was 
left to the diare of any indiridnal ; like the extension and disaipation ot 
inter into dew, there was not quantity united sufficiently to quoidl 
any man's thirst ; but this is the inevitable state of things ; Garrick, no 
no more than another man, could unite what, in thetc natniei, ore 

" G.— But Ganick vras not only excluded by this meant fnan real 
friendihip, bnt scented of treating those whom he called friends with 
intinceri^ and double dealing. 




" }. — Sir, it 11 not true ; hii chtricter in that icipect il miraiulct- 
■tood ; Ganick vru, to be rare, Teiy readj is promiiing, bnt lie intended 
■t the time to fnlfil lui promiK ; be intended no deceit ; hii politoiai 
or hit good nature, call it which yon will, nude him unwilling to deny ; 
he wanted the amiage to u^ * No ' even to nnreatonable demandl. 
This WM the great enor (tf hit life ; by railing expectationt which he 
did not, perhaps could not gratify, he made many enemies ; at the lame 
time, h mnit be remembered that thii error proceeded from the tune 
cauae which produced many of hit virtnet. Friendihip* from warmth 
of temper too luddenly taken op, and too violent to continue, ended, u 
they were likely to do, in diaappointment, hi* friendt became hii ""•win, 
and thete, having been fottend in hit botom, well knew his seaiibili^ 
to reproach, and tack care that he should be amply supplied with loch 
bitter potions as they were capable of administering ; their impotent 
efforts he ought to have despised, but he felt them, nor did he aSect 

" G. — And that tentibility probably shortened hit life. 

"J. — No, Sir, he died of a disorder of which yon or any other man 
may die, without being killed by too much sensibility. 

" G.-~But you will allow, however, that this tentibili^, those fine 
feelings, made him the great actor he was. 

" J.— This it all cant, fit on^ for kitchen wenches and chambennaids ; 
Gatiick*! trade was to represent passion, not to feel it. Aak Reynolds 
iritether he felt the diitreti of Count Ugolino when he drew it. 

" G.— Bnt surely he feelt the passion at the moment he it represent- 
ing it ? 

" J.— About u much at Punch feeli. That Garrick himself gave in to 
this foppery of feelings I can easily believe; bnt be knew at the same time 
that he lied. He might think it right, as far as I know, to have what 
(ooli imagined he ought to have, but it it amazing that anyone should 
be to ignorant as to think that an actoi would risk his reputation by 
depending on the feelings that shall be excited in the presence of two 
hundred people, on the repetition of certain words which he has repeated 
two hnndred times before in what actors call thur study. No, Sir, 
Garrick left nothing to chance. Every gesture, every txptemoa of 
countenance and variation of voice, was settled in his closet before he 
•et his foot upon the stage." 

The claim of Reynolds to literary ability rests ^n these 
two JcHX d'ejprit with more security than upon his Dis- 
courses. They are nervous and to the point, in a way that 
his more pretentious writing are not ; and even if the 




ideas are entirely those of Johnson, as Malone asserted, Sir 
Jo^ua deserves pnuse for the ririd way in which they ate 

This was the year of Garrick's death. He died on the 
20th of January, leaving behind him the large fortune, for 
his day and profesnon, of ;£i40,ooo. Five days later he 
was followed by Sk Joshua's old master, Thomas Hudson. 
Reynolds and Hudson had kept up thnr friendship to the 
end, in spite of the little difficulty which had led to the 
breaking off of their relations as master and scholar. 
Hudson had long ago abandoned painting, and had satis- 
fied his artisdc instincts during his later years by adding to 
the fine collection of drairings by the *< old masters " he 
had inherited iirom his father-in-law, Jonathan Richardson. 
The unbroken friendship between the two painters was 
creditable to them both. A small minded man in 
Hudson's place would have resented his complete eclipse 
by his own scholar, while Sir Joshua must have understood 
the workings of a generous soul, or the consciousness of 
his own triumph would have held him aloof from the man 
at whose expense it had been chiefly won. Another death 
which took place this year was that of Dr. Armstrong, the 
medical poet, who had formed one of Sir Joshua's circle 
ever since the painter's arrival in London. 

To the Exhitntion of this year Reynolds sent his picture 
of the Natinty,* and his three figures of Faith, Hope, 
and Charity,t for the window in New CoUege Chapel ; 
full lengths of Lady Louisa Manners,^: Lady CrosUe,^ 
and a young lady ; a three-quarters group of a Lady 

* Biunt at BdT(^ Cistle, in 1816. A iketch for it u at Somerl^. 
i At Somerlef, in the collection oi Htc Earl of Nonnintoa. 
J Afterwaidt Conaten of DTiait. The pictnie ii &<nr in the 
GoDection of Lord Ivea^. 

f la the collection of Sii Chark* Tennant. Bart. 



and Child ; Andrew Stuart,* and a " Portnut of a Gentle- 

Judging JTom the sketch at Somerley, from the engrav- 
ing, and from the window in New CoU^, the Nativity 
was one of Sir Joshua's more successful attempts at 
elaborate composition. It must, however, have been sadly 
wanting in uncerity, and in the kind of imagination which 
enables an artist to combine the probable emotions of the 
people he is attempting to restore, with the feelings that 
time, futh, and association have implanted in those to 
whom he appeals. The nngle figures of the virtues are 
much better. In them, indeed. Sir Joshua agiun touches 
his highest level as a demgner. They were at first intended 
to be cartoons, in the usual sense of the word, but Rey- 
ndds had been so long in the habit of depending on bru^ 
and colour alone, that he painted them at once on canvas. 
" Jervas, the punter on glass," he told Mason, ** will have 
a better original to copy, and I suppose persons hero^ter 
may be found to purchase my paintings."t 

Mason's fragment on Reynolds has an interesting 
passage on the painting of these glorified cartoons : — 

" When he wu employed npos the centnl part of the window in hii 
f unouB ' Nativity,' I happened to call on him,t when his painting-room 
pruented me with a very nngnlar and pleating prospect. Three 
beaatifnl yonng female children, with their hair dithevdled, wde pbced 

* A Scottiah " writer," engaged in the cdebrated Dongas filiation 

t The " Nativity " was bonght by the Duke of Rntknd for jf 1,200; 
the (even " Virtnes," aold at LadyThomond'a lale in i82i,were bought 
by Lord Normanton for £$,$65 ; the tide pictnrei to the " Nativity," 
with portrait! of Reynold! himtelf and the glau painter, Jervaa, were 
acquired after the painter'i death by Lord Fitxvrilliaia, and are now at 

I There ii an entry in the pocket-bocA for the 30th of jnn^ 
" Children, 2. Mr. Maion." 








«nder ■ luge minor whick hung ingnUily over their htadt, and from 
the leflectkin in this he wu punting that chamung group m uigdlt 
which nuToondcd the Holy Infut. He had nearly fini«TiH thit part 
of hif dedgn, and I hardly lecollect erer to have had a greater pleaiure 
thin I then had in beholding and comparing beantif nl nature, both in 
ita reflection and on the caavai. The effect may be imagined, bat it 
cannot be deacribed. The head of the ^%gin in thii capital picnm 
waa fint a profile. I told him it appeared to me lo very Ctmgptspu 
that I feared it would be tbronghont thought too cloae an imitaticm of 
diat maater. What I then laid, whether jnitly or not I will not pte- 
■ome to tay, had u much weight with him that, when I law the picture 
^it next time, the head waa altered entiiely ; part of the retiring cheek 
wai bronght forward, and, ai he told me, he had got Mn. Sheridan to 
Kt for it to him. 

" With the copy Jcrroi made of thii pictnie he wu gricronily ditap- 
pcunted. *I had frequently/ he laid to me, 'pleaied myielf with 
reflecting, after I had produced what I thought a biilliant effect of 
light and ihade on my canvaa, how greatly that effect would be 
hdghtened by the transparency which the painting on glaat would be 
aore to produce. It turned out quite the rereite.' And I man myielf 
own, when I law the window at Oxford lome time before Sir Joahna 
ucpreaKd this loitimcnt to me, that I had thought piediely a* be did. 
It ii tme that I taw it when not illuminated by the aun behind it, an 
adrantage which inch paintingi particularly require : I uw it on a doQ 
momlBg, whereai, luppodng the chapel to atand eait and weat, a bright 
erening ti the prc^r time to examine it.' 

" The day of opening the Exhibition that year, when this pictore wai 
in hand, approached too hastily upon Six Joihua, who had rcK^red that 
it ahonld then make ita public appearance. I nw him at work npon it, 
even the very day before it waa to be aent thither ; and it griered me to 
see him laying loada of colour and vamiih upon it, at the aame time 

* I hare seen it often, and under all conditions of light ; it is never 
qnite sstisfactory, and that for a very obvious reason. The succen of 
such a scheme of chiaroscuro depends entirely on the effective contrast 
of the light parts mth the parts in shadow, a contrast easily established 
on canvas hy opporing opaque and reflecting surfaces to transparent and 
absorbent ones. When the whole of the light has u come through the 
substance of the picture, it is scarcely possible that the necessary contrast 
should be obtained. A bright sun streams through both the deepest 
shadow oo irikich the glass painter can venture and the highest lig}it, and 
takes all the vigour ont d the contrast. 



prognoiticatiag to n^ielf ^t it wrald uewtx ituid the tot of 

Whether Muoa's prophecy were well-foanded or not 
we can never know, as the picture was burnt at Belvoir m 
its thirty-eighth year. The " Virtues," at Somerley, are 
in fair condition. 

Socially, 1779 was an average year vnth Sir Joshua. 
The dinner engagements entered in his pocket-book are, 
perhaps, a little less numerous than usual, but they include 
one or two evenings which Boswell has made &mous. 
One of these was the day after the condemnation of 
Hackman for the murder of Miss Ray, when Johnson and 
Topham Beaiiclerc came to high words over the ugnificance 
of carrying two pistols. Another was the 24th of the 
same month, when the discussion ran upon the character 
(^ Garrick, and Boswell came as near as he dared to 
finding fault with his hero, who had said that ** Garrick's 
death had eclipsed the gaiety of nations." On both these 
occauons Reynolds was present, but he is not recorded 
as having taken any part in the talk. A sketch of the 
painter as he seemed to an unsympathetic oontemp<wary is 
quoted by Leslie, who calls it " a view of one's hero 

through the reversed opera glass." Mr. B y was an 

Irish ex-commissary who had sat to Reynolds in the old 
days at Minorca. He speaks of him ** as if he had been 
a carpenter or Aurier." 

*" Did jon erer tee hit " Nidrity " * i aib Mn. Umle. 'No, madvn ; 
bat I know hii pictont mj weU. I knew him manf jeut ago, ia 
Minorca ; he drew my ^ctnie there, and then he knew how to take a 
moderate price; but now, I tow, nia'un, 'ti* tcandahnu — tcandakmi, 
indeed! to fwf ■ fellow here (erentjr gnineai for tcratching oat a 

" Dr. Delap lemindi him that he mut not ma down Sir Jothna, 
becaue he 11 M iw BoineT'i friend. ' Sir, I don't want to nn the man 
down ; I like him well enough in hii proper place; he ii ■• decent u 



any man of that aon I enz knew ; but for all that, Sir, hit price* ire 
■hamefnl. Why, he would not' — locking at the poor Doctor with an 
enraged contempt — ' he would not do your head under leventy guineas ! * 
Mn. Thrale declares that too much could hardly be paid for inch a 
porttait at Mi. Stnart'i in the hit Exhibition, ' What atnS ia thit ! ' 
exclaims Mr. B— — 7; 'how can two 01 three dabs of paint ever be 
worth tnch a sum as that i ' ' Sir/ says Selwyn, delighting to draw him 
out, ' yon know not how much he is improved since yon knew him in 
Minorca ; he ii now the finest painter, perhaps, in the world ! ' Mr. 

B y pooh-poohs this, and reiterates he has no objection to the man. 

' I have dined in his company two or three times ; a very decent man 
he i), fit to keep company with gentlemen ; but, ma'am, what are all 
your modem dabbler* put together to one ancient ? Nothing 1 A 
set of — not a Rubens among *em! I tow, ma'am, not a Rubens 
among 'em ! ' " 

In these days we are apt to forget that to many of Sir 
Joshua's contemporaries, with the stricter notions of social 
precedency in vogue a century ago, the punter's station in 
London society must have seemed almost an outrage, 
espedally as it had been won mthout any kind of pretence 
or undue submission to those who were then called '* the 
great." Fond as he was of the best that Society could 
give, he lived his life in his own way, invited whom he 
chose to lu9 own table, leaving his guests to shake down 
among themselves as best they could, and, so far as we can 
discover, paying little heed to prejudices on the matter of 
turth, and still less to those which had to do with politics 
or conventional morality. 

The year j 780 saw the transfer of the Exhibition from 
Pall Mall to the new home of the Academy in Somerset 
House. The rooms dengned for it by Sir William 
Chambers still exist, on the right-hand »de of the arched 
entrance in the Strand. They condsted of exhibition 
rooms for drawings and sculpture on the ground floor, a 
library, antique academy, &c., on the first floor, and two 
top-lighted picture galleries, one large, the other very 
small, on the third floor. Some of the rooms were 



decorated with the pictures by Cipriani and Angelica 
Kauffinann which hare lately been placed in the vestibule 
at Burlington House. The first exhibition in the new 
building was a great success. The takings amounted to 
£io6g, more than twice what they were in the previous 
year, and many other ugns of increasing interest were 
given. Sir Joshua's contributions to the show were 
portraits of Lady Beaumont,* Gibbon.t the Earl of 
Cholmondeley,;}: Lady Worsley, in the Hants Militia 
uniform,^ Miss Beauclerc (daughter of Topham BeaudercX 
as ** Una," I and of Prince William Frederick of 
Gloucestefjf in a Van Dyck dress. He also sent the 
cartoon for '* Justice," in the New Collie window. To 
the same exhibition Gainsborough sent fourteen jnctures, 
oght portraits and six landscapes. Among these were 
some of his finest things, such as the George Coyte 
(" Coyte alive "), Mr. Alfred de Rothschild's " Mrs. 
Beaufoy," Mr. Hirsch's " Madame Le Brun," and the 
"Horses drinking," now in Sir Charles Tennant's col- 
lection. To us, looking back over more than a century. 
It seems amazing that twenty such pictures as those just 
enumerated could hang in one room, and yet cause no 
abnormal excitement among those who paid their shillings 
to see them. In these days, when painters swarm, it would 
be difficult to find twenty pictures worth a second glaacc 
in any ezlubition room in Eiirope. Certainly such things 
as Gainsborough's " Mrs. Beaufoy " and Sir Joshua's 
" Lady Worsley " would now, by themselves, give prestige 

* Probablf the |»ctan now, or lately, at Colearton. 

t Belongi to the Earl of Rotebeiy. 

t Not identified. § Belongi to the Earl of Htrevrood. 

H Tlie picture engraved b^ T. WatKn, and alio by S. W. Rernoldi. 
TTke pictore beloaging to Lord Normanton seema to be an nnfiniibed 
replica, altkongh it may pouibly be the one exhibited in 1780. 

4 At Tiinity Coll^ Cambridge. 


SIK Henrv Bunuukv 



to any exhitntion. Is it not pos^ble that we are habitually 
un^r to the public of 1780 ? May not the cause of the 
prompt and permanent rogue of the Royal Academy 
Exhibitions have been simply the magnificent art with 
which they were filled in those early and critical years ? 
Writers, Sir Joshua himself among them, have been 
perhaps over ready to ascribe the success of the Academy 
to the King's patronage and other outside Infiuences. I 
do not see why the more generous explanation should not 
be the true one, that people would rush to where such 
punting as that of Gainsborough and Sir Joshua was to be 
seen and would set a fashion not ea^ to kill. 

This year, 1780, was one of the most active of Sir 
Joshtu's later life. His sitters were numerous. They 
included Sir W. Molesworth, Sir W. James, Lady Laura 
Waldegrave, Lady Gertrude Fitzpatricfc, Lady Comewall, 
Mrs. Eckersal, Mrs. Harcoiut, the Duchess of Rutland, 
Mrs. Musters, Henry Dundas, Strahan the printer, Miss 
Ingram, and the evergreen General Oglethorpe, who had 
fought under Marlborough and Eugene, had founded the 
Savannah, and had shot snipe in Conduit Street.* Lord 
Richard Cavendish sat in June for that fine portrait with 
the ^yptian desert for background, which was so well 
engraved by John Raphael Smith.f Among Sir Joshua's 
friends, companions, or entertaners for this year the most 
insistent are Burke and Dunning ; the newest, the Princess 
Dashkow, the friend of the Empress Catherine and the 
future President of the St. Petersbui^ Academy. The 
Princess timed her visit to London at an exdting moment, 
for the Gordon Riots took place tn Jime, and she, mth 
some of her fellow-countrymen at the Rusuan Embassy, 
were curiously well-informed as to some of the intentions 

* TahU Talk ef Samiul Ragm. 

t The fnctnie bekmgi to the Dnke of Deroniluie. 



of the rioters. She does not appear among % Joshua's 
utters, but while in Ireland she had seen the famous 
re^ew of Volunteers in Collie Green, Dublin, and 
Wheatley had introduced her portrait among those who 
were looking on.* During the disturbed month Reynolds 
was among her guests more than once. In the autumn 
Sir Joshua paid another visit to Devonshire, where he wis 
a guest at Spitchwick, Dunning's house on Dartmoor, as 
well as at Saltnun, Port Eliot, Mount Edgcumbe, and 
other places where his presence was no novelty. He was 
away a month, from the 24th of Atigust to the 2znd of 
September.! His return to London was probaUy deter- 
mined by the fact that the winter session of the Academy 
Schoc^s was to open on the 1 6th of October in its new home 
in Somerset House, and that the Presidoit had to prepare 
an address for the occasion. To this year also belongs a 
letter printed by Tom Taylor, in which Reynolds gives 
advice to Nicolas Pocock, the young marine punter, who 
had sent a belated pcture to the Exhibition. The letter is 

" DiAK Sn, — Yonr pictttre cune too kte for exhibition. It ii mndi 
bcTond what [ expected from a fint esiay in oil colonn ; all the pirti, 
•eparately, are extreaiel7 well painted, but there wanti a harmony in tbe 
whole blether ; thete ii no union between the clouds, the Ka, and the 
taili. Though the lea appean aometimes ai green u you have painted 
it, jret it ia 1 choice vecy nnfaTOvrable to the art ; it leenii to me ttmy 
Intely atcetury, in order to produce harmony, and that the picture 
thonld appear tt be painted, at the phraie it, from one palette, that 
tnoie three great objecta of ihip-painting should be mnch of the une 
colour, at was the practice of Vandervelt ; and he leemi to hare been 
driTen W thit condnct by necettitj. Whaterer cobnr predominates in 
a picture, that colour mnat be introduced in other para ; but no green 
colour, tuch at you haTC given to the tea, can make a part of the i^. 
I beliere the truth ia, that, however the tea may appear green when yon 

* The picture it in the Iriih National Gallery, 
t The pocket-bo^ for 1780 givea hit whole itineraiy. 



are lookiog down upon it, and it ii Tciyaear — at racb a diitance *• )rotir 
■hipt aie rappaied U> be, it utomei the colooi o£ the Af. 

" 1 mmld reconunend to you, above all thing*, to paint from Nature, 
instead of drawing ; to cany your palette and pencil to the watenide. 
Iliii wu the practice of Vemet, whicoa I knew at Rome ; he there 
■howed me hit ttndiea in coloun, which atiuck me Teiy mnch for that 
tmth which thoae worki only have which are ptodnced while the Impiea- 
aion it warm from Nature. At that time, he was a perfect master of 
the character of water, if I may me the ezpreuion ; he ia now rednced 
to a mere manneriit, and no longer to be recommended for imitation, 
except yon would imitate him by uniting landscape to ship-painting, 
which certain^ make* a more pleasing composition than either alone." 

To the exhibition of 1781 Sir Joshua sent fourteen 
pictures : Dr. Barney,* Mr. Thoroton, the well-known 
friend and ^ent of the Duke of Rutland,t Master 
Bunbury,t Lord Richard Cavendish,^ the three Ladies 
Waldegravc,! Duchess of Rutland,^ Countess of Salis- 
bury,** Children of the Duke of Rutland,tt a Child 
Asleep,tJ a listening Boy, '* ThMS,*'§§ "Temperance,"!! 
« Fortitude,"^^ and the "Death of Dido.*'*** It is a 
splendid list, and the people may well be envied who saw 
fourteen such pictures in all tbnr glory. The happiest in 

* In America (Heam collection, New York) ; a very good replica is 
in the Univcnity Gallery, Oxford. 

t Burnt at BelToii ? t At Barton. 

S Belongs to the Duke of Devonshire. 

II In the collection of Mn. Thwaites. 

11 Burnt in the fire at BelToir. ** At Hatfield. 

ft Lord Gianby and Lady Elizabeth Manners, with two d(^ Hie 
^ctnie ia at Belvoir Castle. 

XX At Packington HaD (Earl of Aylesford). 

§§ Portrait of Emily Pott, alias Bertie, a well-known courtesan, at this 
time in relations with Charles Gierille. Walpole and other contempo- 
raries find fault with Reynolds for the muaculari^ of Miss Pott's legs, 
M if he had not only painted, but originally designed them 1 The 
psctnie is now at Waddetdon. 

ill For the New College window: nmrinLordNormanton'scollectioa. 

ff JUJ. *** In Buckingham Palace. 




invention of them all is, no doubt, the group of the Ladies 
Waldegrave, which may, perhaps, be called the most 
famous of Sir Joshua's pictures. In conception, it shows 
the painter at his best, and may ^rly be put on a level 
with the three Montgomeries in the National Gallery. In 
execution, howeyer, it is open to critidsm. The punter 
has trusted entirely to hts design and the beauty of his 
utters, and has allowed the actual conduct of his brush to 
become a litde perfunctory. The result is a certua 
emptiness, which makes it necessary to stand well away 
from the canras if we vrish to feel that the picture deserves 
its reputation. What Horace Walpole meant by saying 
that the lock and key on the work-table are " finished like 
a Dutch flower pninter " it is difficult to guess. Tom 
Taylor calls the "Death of Dido" " the finest ideal [Hcture 
by Sir Joshua included in the Royal collection." With 
this judgment it ts impossible to agree, when we remember 
that the " Cymon and Iphigenia " hangs on the same wall 
But the " Dido " is certainly among the more successfiil 
attempts by Reynolds to justify his own theories on the 
great style. It is a pity that Sir Joshua could not have 
as»milated the theories of Lesnng before he completed his 
own ideals.* Had he read the first four chapters of the 
LaocooHf he would never, I think, have afflicted us irith 
the figure of the Carthaginian sister, hanging over the 
miuibund Queen like some monstrous bird, and producing 
eiactly those feelings of discomfort, irritation, and bathos 
against which Lesung's first argument is directed. The 
Greeks, on the rare occauon when they dealt with emotion 
in action, chose the moment before it reached its culmina- 

* At a matter of date, he might have done to : for the Lmmm wu 

publiihed in 1766, fonrteen yean before the "Dido** wa« painted. But 

we have no reaton to believe that Reynoldi knew any German, and it wai 

not until 1836 that the famoai treatiae wai fir«t pnbliihed io Engliih. 






tion, while the spectator could still anticipate, and justify 
the ineritaUe fulure of art by putting the supeme instant 
beyond that portrayed by the artist. Reynold was ill- 
advised enough to &I1 upon this supreme instant itself. 
He selects the moment of the Queen's death, and of her 
uster's fullest dismay, the very moment when the emotions 
excited in the mind of an actual beholder would outrun 
the image gathered by his eyes, and d^rade facts most 
hopelessly below imagination. Sir Joshua was an excellent 
hint-taker ; if he had known his Lcssing he would have 
chosen his moment better, and left his drama unfinished. 

In the late summer of 1781, Sir Jo^ua made a two 
months tour on the Continent. Leaving Margate on the 
a6th of July, in wmpany with his friend Metcalf, he visited 
Bn^es, Ghent, and Brussels during the first week, 
moving on afterwards to Mechlin and Antwerp. In 
Antwerp he saw Rubens's " Rape of the Sabines," then to 
be sold for 24,000 florins.* Leaving Antwerp on the 9th 
of August, he piassed by Dort and " Rotirdam" to The 
H^ue, where he spent mx days. On the 17th he 
travelled to Amsterdam, seang " three or four pictures by 
F. Hals" at Haarlem on the way. After a week in 
Amsterdam, spent in sedng pictures and in dining out, he 
set out for Dusseldorf, by the way of " Utrick," 
Nim^uen, and Cleves. Five days were spent at Dussel- 
dorf, where the museum then contained many of the finer 
{Mctures now in the Munich Gallery ; then one each in 
Cologne and Aix-la-Chapelle. Two days at Spa, one day 
at Li^e, and then after dining at Louvain, he is bock at 
Brussels on the 7th September. After a week in the 
Belgian capital he travels to London by the route he had 
followed when outward bound, and arrives home on the 
itith of September. 

* The facnre in the Natkuul Galkij. 



During his tour Sir Joshua made oo{»ous notes on 
pictures, meuiing, apparentljr, to publish them, as he left 
a fr^mentary dedication to his firiend and travelling 
companion, Philip Metcalf, among his papers. The whole 
were published after tus death by Edmund Malone, in the 
first edition of the Discourses. They form an important 
document for any one attempting to fit Sir Joshua into his 
true i^lace in the history of art, and inll have to be 
discussed at some length in connection with his Italian 
Notes and his Discxiurses. 

The chief event, no doubt, of Sir Joshua's life in 1781 
was the marrii^e in January of Oflfy Palmer to Richard 
LovellGwatkin, which took place from Mrs. Palmer's hou«e 
in Torrington. And yet, with all his auction for hb 
favourite niece, the marriage does not seemed to have 
stirred Reynolds frcmi his normal attitude towards the 
concerns of other pet^ile. Here u the letter he wrote upon 
the occauon : — 

"Mt duk Otft, 

" I intended to have aiuwered jaai letter immediately, 
and to have wrote at the *ame time to Mr. GwatUa, bat wai pienoitcd, 
and have been ptercDted ereiy evening since. However, I propoMd 
dcung to thit evening, and diaenguged myself from Mrs. Elliott (where 
Polfy it giHie) on porpose. But this moment Mi. Edmnnd Burke hai 
caBed on me, and propoiet ■ party, but desires I would write iriule he 
wtiti at my elbow, for that he will add tomething himielf . Yon must 
foppote, therefne, that I have wished and ezpreited eveiything that 
affectioa to yoa and friendship to Mi. Gwatkin wpnld dictate. 

"That you may be as happy at yon both dcaerve ii my vrish, and yon 
wiD be thehappieat couple in England. So God bktt yon. I wiD leave 
^ tett to Mi. Burke. 

*' Yoor most ificctionate uncle, 
« Januaiy 30th, 1781." " J. REYNOLDS. 

Burke was less summary, and, putting aside one Htde 
touch of pomp, sent as graceful a letter as any young 
couple could Irish for at their setting out in life. The 



Ruuriage was happy. Offy was to live for seventy years 
after that January day, and to found a family that still 
flourishes. Before the year was out, she and her husband 
were in London, nttingto Sir Joshua for the portruts now 
in the possession of their own descendant.* During this 
year, Opie came to London under the wing of "Peter 
Pindar/* and the Thrales moved into thtar fine new house 
in Groavenor Square^ where Sir Joshua had for a few short 
short weeks many opportunities for the demure quasi- 
flirtatious talks he carried on with Fanny Bumey. 

'* Sir Jothtu," iHe nyt, " is fat and welL He ii preparing for the 
Exhibition a new Death of Dido ; portiaia of the three beantifol Ladiet 
WaldegraTc^ Horatia, Laoia, and Maria, all in one picture, and at work 
with the tambour ; a 'null, for which Miu Emilj, a celebrated conrteian, 
aat at the deiire of the Hon. Charlei Grerille ; and what Otheri I know 
not, bnt hii room and gallery are both crowded." 

It was not long after this entry in the famous diary that 
the club had an extra n^ht, in preparation for one of the 
Grosvenor Square assemblies, when a note arrived from 
Johnson (at this time living in Thrale's house) to say that 
the brewer had that very morning fidlen dead in a fit of 
apoplexy. Other engagements during the year were at 
the Bishop of St. Asaph's (the dinner at which Boswell 
drank too much and was rebuked by Hannah More), and 
at Mrs. Garrick's, in the Adelphi, the first party she had 
after David's death. 

The exhibition of 1783 contained fifteen pictures by 
Reynolds. They were : — Whole lengths of Mrs. Baldwin, 
** The Fair Greek," in Smymiote dress ; f Lady George 
Cavendish (b^un as Lady Betty Compton) ; % and Lady 

* Mr. R. Gwattin, of the Manor Houie, Poncme, Derizea. 

t Now at BowDod. 

I Afterward) Connteii of Burlington. Ilie picture belongs to Lord 



Charlotte Talbot ; • heads of Lady Althorp,t '* Pcrdita " 
Robinson.t Lady Aylesford,§ and one not identified ; 
portraits of Dr. Thomas, Bishop of Rochester, as Dean 
of the Order of the Bath ; B of Col. Tarletop,1f CoL 
Windham,*«and Lord Chancellor Thuriow ;tt "Children," 
a girl and an angel contemplating a Cross, for the Oxford Agjun, we find Sir Joshua's list answered by one 
no less important from his great liyal. Gwisborough, 
too, was represented by a " Colonel Tarleton," with a horse, 
as well as by his two famous portrwts of the Prince of 
Wales and Colonel St. Leger, with their horses.§§ The 
same painter's splendid " Mrs. Dalrymple Elliot " II was 
also at Somerset House, where it had for companion the 
&mous "Girl with Pigs," bought by Sir Joshua, but 
transferred by him to M. de Calonne. Two years later, 
Gunsborough was to finally shake the Exhibition dust 
from his feet, but his pictures of 1782 show his easy 
vigour, his airiness, his unique combination of gaiety, 
irresponsibility, and light-handedness. with solidity and 
no-nonsense, at its best, and , must have made Reynolds 
ask with more perplexity than ever, " How does he get his 

The year 1782 saw the death of one great English 

* Afterwirdi Connteu Talbot. The pictnie lued to be at Ingotie, 
bnt is now in America. 

t Lavima, afteiwarda Connteu Spcstccr ; in Lord Spencer*! collectiaa 
at Altborp. 

t In the collectiaa of Baiooeu Mathilde de Rotlucluld, at Frankfcm. 

% Belongt to the Earl of A^letford. 

II In the Bimungham GaUerr. 

Q Foimerl/ in the coUectioo of Mt. Wyna Ellit, who bequeathed it 
to the tittei'i familj ; it now belongt to Mr. A. H. Taileton. 

** Whereabonu unknown. it Belongi to the Marquex of Bath. 

XI In the Duke of Portland'* collection at Welbeck Abb^. 

f$ Not mounted on them, however, at Tom Taylor enoneonily tajn, 

till "D(% the TaU"j the picture it at Welbeck. 



punter to vhom Sir Joshua seems never to have done 
justice. Richard Wilson died in May, at Llanberis, 
whither he had retired but a short time before. It is 
difficult to understand how Sir Joshua failed to percdve 
the great beauty of Wilson's art. Pictures of his own 
exist * in which, mutatis mutandis, a startling affinity with 
Wilson may be traced. Perhaps the Preudent was blinded 
by antipathy to the man, for Wilson was not a person 
with whom the friction-avoiding Reynolds could have 
much in common. The trueTer»onof the^ii^ committed 
by Sir Joshua over Gainsborough as a landscape painter, 
is probably the one given by Northcote. According to 
this, the President came into the Artists' Club one day, 
having just seen a fine landscape by Gainsborough. He 
described it, and ended with *' Gainsborough is certunly 
the finest landscape painter now in Europe." " Well, Sir 
Joshua," called out Wilson, who was present, *' it is my 
opinion that he is also the greatest portrait-painter at 
this time in Europe." Reynolds felt his mistake, and 
apologised to Wilson.f 

It was in this year that Sir Joshua sat to Gainsborough. 
Apptnntments to ut are entered on the 3rd of November, 
and agun on the loth, both Sundays. The first «tting 

* The *' Muter Hue," in the poMeuion of Mr. Lionel Phillipi, aaj 
be named u a good ioatance. 

t Sir Jothua'i neglect of Wilwn hai been imitated hf the Engliih 
people ever lince, and jet he ii one of the really gieat and original 
matten of the ei^nenth centnij. Hi* beit worki unite the digoitr of 
Chade and the atmospheric troth of Cajrp or De Hooge with the fat, 
lich bruthing preached hf Rejaolds himaeU, At hii worn he wa* the 
equal <A many men admitted to oollectiona the doon of which wovld 
nerer be opened to a Wilton, iriule at hii beit he prodnced thjngi to 
friuch, in their waj, no other landicape painter can thow a parallel. 
Unfartnnately he it repreteated in onr national o^ctioni mainly by 
ambitioiit failnrei, "Niobei," and *' ViUai of Mecxnas," that orerwhehn 
die modett cmceptiont in which hit delicate art ii moit folly thown. 



took place ; but before the President could appear a second 
time in Schombei^ House, he had one of those "two 
■hakes of the palsy " to which Fanny Burney alludes in x 
letter protesting against the connection of his name with 
hers by the nutchmakers. On the 14th of November 
Johnson writes from Brighton : — 

" I hcifd ftttaday at joai late diioider, and *hoald think Ul of mpeU 
if I had heard of it withoat alarm. I heard likewiie of joar ncojtzj, 
wbidi I linceKly wi^ to be complete and permanent. Yoni conotrf 
haa been in danger of losing one of it> bri^teit onumenta, and I of 
locing one of my oldett and kindeK frieoda ; bat I hope jrm will ttill 
live long for the honoor of the nation ; and that more enjoyment d 
yttax elegance, your intelligence, and yoni benerolence ii ttiU rettrrcd 
for, dear Sir, your moat aSecdonate," tec 

Ten days seem a short time in which to receive and 
recover from a stroke of paralyns, however sUght, and it 
b posuble that the dates above given have been wrongly 
interpreted. The one sitting Sir Joshua is known to have 
given to Gainsborough may have been earlier than the 
3rd of November, in which case it is not entered in the 
pocket-book. On his recovery he wrote to his brother 
punter hinting that he was now ready to sit again, but the 
hint was not taken, and no portrait of Reyn<dds by 
Gunsborough, or of Gainsborough by Reynolds, eidsts.* 
In the last days of the year— on the 28th of December— 
Kr Joshua gives a dinner of which we catch a glimpse in 

* Ferhapi KHne good-natnred friend had repeated to GainsboFoo^ a 
tcmaik made by Reynoldi in the hearing of Northcote, and repo r ted bf 
the latter yean afterwarda to Jamea Ward. ** Sirjoahua . . . and Gaina- 
bonngh conld not ttable their hone* together, for there wai jealoiu^ 
between them, Gainaboron^ I remember, aolidted Sir Joahna to st 
to him for hia portrait, and he no doubt expected to be requested to at 
to Sir Joihna in return. Bat I heard Sir Joihua aay, ' I inppoae he 
c^wcta me to aik him to ait to me ; I ahall do no tnch thing 1 * " Cm- 
vtruHmi »f Jamii Sanieeu, R^^ witi Jamti fTsrdi edited hf £nw«t 
Fletcher, 1901, p. 159. 




Fanny Burney's diary. It U of interest chiefly because 
one of the guests was '* Jadcson of Exeter," the rau»dan 
and bosom friend of Gainsborough. Jackson's character 
was not unlike Gdnsborough's own. He is described as 
very handsome, full of originality, fire and passion, but 
with flashes of silence and distraction. He and Fanny 
romp a Iittle,^and the whole party brings the year merrily 
to its end, Fanny with Sir Joshua's kiss upon her cheek. 

Sir Joshua was not in his usual force in the exhibition 
of 1783. He sent ten portraits, but none of them, with 
perhaps one exception, would find a place in a list of his 
best works. They were : Mrs. Gosling,* *' A Lady," 
*' A Young Lady " (Miss Falconer, by moonlight),t " A 
Young Nobleman," t two groups of children, § Mr. 
j^erton,! Mr. Albany WaUis,^ Lord Harrington,** and 
William Strahan, printer and Tlus, the last year 
of Gunsborough's appearance on the Academy walls, 
showed lum in such strength as to throw Sir Joshua com- 
pletely into the shade. He exhituted no fewer than 
twenty-five pictures, including some of his finest things, 
such as the full lengths of Mrs. Sheridan and the Duchess 

* Bought by Agnew *nd Son in 1884. 

t In Lord Normuitoii'i collection. 

t Walpol« t»j» Lord Albemaile, then > boy of thineen ; another 
aathonty says Lord Cobliain. The picture has not been identified. 

S One of theK groupawai the " Master Brummell and his Brother," 
now in Lord Ireagh't collection. The elder brother was afterward* the 
famoni beau. 

II So lay* Walpole: another authority identifies the sitter as Sir 
Abraham Hume, who did not sit, howerer, until 1786. 

IF Gariick's friend and executor. The present owner of the pictnie 
a nnlmown. 

** In Lord Harrington's potsesiion, at Elvaston Castle, Derby- 

ft Belongs to Mr. Arthur Lemon. A copy by Sti Wm. Beechey 
was presented to the Stationers' Company by Mr. Andrew Strahan, 
M.F., in 1815 (Graves and Cronin). 



of Devonshire, the " Sir Harbord Harbord,"the" Bojra with 
Fighting Dogs," and the wonderfdl heads of Geotge III. 
and his children which now fill a series of fourteen 
panels in the priyate audience chamber at Windsor. Sir 
Joshua's eclipse was but momentary. Some of his finest 
things were yet to come. But the impression made by 
his appearance this year is recorded in one of the few 
happy couplets hit upon by Wolcott : 

*' We're lott Sir Joiliiui — lik ! that channing elf. 
We griere to >a.f, hath thu year lost himielf." 

Two minor exhibitions attracted a lai^ section of the 
public this year : Barry's pictures at the Sodety of Arts, 
which 6540 persons paid a shilling, and one, Jonas 
Hanway, a guinea, to see ; and Jarvis's peepshow of his 
Oxford window alter Reynolds. Jarvts contrived, in a 
darkened room in Pall Mall, to make his window realise 
the ideas of the painter, and so to all the more deepen the 
disappointment in store when the undoctored daylight of 
New College Chapel came in to upset calculations. Other 
notable events in Sir Joshua's life this year are his second 
tour in the Low Countries, when he bought some good 
[nctures released from the religious establishments through 
the somewhat reckless policy of the Emperor ; his punting 
of Mrs. Siddons as the Tragic Muse ; and Ids last welcome 
of Dr. Johnson to the Academy Dinner. 

Z>uring his foreign tour he noticed, and was troubled 
by the fact, that Rubens seemed less brilliant to his eye 
than he ^d two years previously, when he first saw Brussels 
and Antwerp. He thought he had discovered the reason 
of the apparent filing oiF when he remembered that on 
his previous visit he made many notes, and was continually 
looking up to the pictures from the white pages of his 
pocket-book. Northcote suggests that the real explanation 


Eaki. or Leicester, K,G. 




WIS the prepress made by himself during the two yean, 
which had lessened the gap between his own productions 
and those of the Fleming. Northcote's explanation may 
be disr^arded. It was suggested rather by his admiration 
for his old master than by any viable diminution of the 
distance between Sir Joshua, as an executant^ and Rubens, 
durii^ the twenty-four months which separated the two 
vi^ts to Belgium. On the other hand, no one who has 
been in the hatut of makii^ notes in [»cture galleries will 
deny that the explanation given by Reynolds himself has 
some foundation. The continual reference to a catalogue, 
momentary as each glance may be, will make a collection of 
pictures seem warmer in colour than they do without such 
accidental aid. But the difference is hardly enough to 
account for such disappointment as that felt by Sir Joshua. 
The truth, no doubt, was simply that his imagination had 
been at work ever^nce 1781, heightening the impression 
made upon him by the daring colour and miraculous 
brushing of Rubens,| and that by 1783 these enhanced 
impressions had substituted themselves for genuine 
memories, to the disadvantage of the actual pictures. No 
extraordinary effort of imagination is required to enable 
us to push a work of art a little farther in certain direc- 
tions than even the greatest artist can carry it In our 
mind's eye we can easily add to the glow of a Titian, to 
the force and depth of a Rembrandt, to the brilliance of a 
Gainsborough ; and when we indulge the habit, and allow 
its creations to impose themselves as tests, such disappoint- 
ment as that felt by Sir Joshua on his second viut to 
Rubens is always the consequence. Our pleasiu« in any 
experience depends munlyon our expectations. Sir Joshua 
expected much from the puntings in the Vatican, and so, 
at firs^ he was (Usappointed. He expected less from 
Rubens, and so on hb first introduction he was agreeably 



surprised. Two years later he expected the same delight 
to be renewed, if not enhanced ; but die element of sur- 
prise was gone, and his imagination had been at work ; the 
result was ineritable. It was not surprising that Reynolds 
took so kindly to Peter Paul. Between the Fleming's 
way of conceiving a [Hcture and his own, the likeness 
sometimes comes near to identity, Putdi^ technique 
aude, the differences between the Chapeau de Pulle, or 
rather de Foil, and the Nelly O'Brien of the Wallace 
Gallery, are accidental rather than temperamentaL 



1784— 1792 

;^IR JOSHUA'S pocket-book shows that 
1784 was one of the most crowded years 
I of his life. His sitters were more 
numerous than they had been for years, 
' while his social engagements trod so 
' closely upon each other's heels that we 
wonder how he kept his head dear enough for art. To 
the Exhibition, nevertheless, he sent no fewer than sixteen 
pictures, among them some of his finest things. Here is 
the list: — Mrs. Siddons as the Tragic Muse;* Miss 
Kemble, Mrs. Siddons' sister, afterwards Mrs. Twiss;t 
Mrs. Abington as Roxalana;| Mr. Warton;g Lord 
Leveson ;I Sir John Honywood;! Master Braddyl;** 
Lady Dashwood and Child ; tt Charles James Fox ;tt Prince 
of Wales ;Sj Lady Honywood and Child ;|| Dr. Bourke, 

" Now in Grotrenor Honse. t In Mr, Bradley Mutin'i powetuon. 
X In tke Dole of Fife'i collection. 

4 ThoniM Wtrton, Poet Laureate. In Trinitj' O^ege, Oxford. 
II Lord Lewiihim, afterwards 3rd Eail of Dartmonth. In the 
A^leafbrd collection. 

Q Wai in the poaieirion of Sir C. Honjrwood, Bart. 

** In the poneuian of Lord Rothiduld. 

ti" Wai in tKe posienion of Sir Heniy Dashwood, Ban., in 1867, 

tt The picture at Holkham. 

K At Brocket Hill ; in Earl Cowper*i cdlection. 

IttI Bekoigt to the £ul of Devon. 

161 L 



ArchlMshop of Tuam;* Pott, the famous surgeon ;t 
Nathaniel Chauncey ; { Nymph and Cu^Hd ; § Boy 
reading.jl The portrait of Fox shows htm at Ms best as 
a painter of men, and may fairly be put beside the Lord 
HesthfieJd of the National Gallery, wMch was to follow 
it three years later. The " Fox " was on ^ Joshua's easel 
when the Coalition Ministry came to an end in Denmber, 
1783, and the punter had felt some delicacy in carrying 
out one of his sitter's requests. Fox had wished his India 
Bill, the immediate cause of his expulsion irom office, to 
be introduced into the picture, legibly docketed. After 
the crash Reynolds heutated to perpetuate a failure, but 
Fox stood to his guns, and those who see the picture it 
Holkham may still read upon it, "A Bill for the better 
r^ulating the Af^rs of the E.I. Company." Another 
fine portrut is the Archbishop of Tuam, which recalls the 
"Dr. Markham** of the year before. Sir Joshua's variety 
was splendidly shown by the appearance on one wall of 
the delightful espiegliere of Mrs. Abington as "Roxalana," 
and the majesty of Sarah Siddons as the Tragic Muse. 
The former, of course, is the more characteristic. It 
nught have been painted if Reynolds had never seen any 
one's jnctures but his own. But the tact with which hints 
from the Sistine Chapel are used in the *' Siddons " is so 
consummate as to justify the plagiary, and to convince 
us more than anything else he did of the uncerity of his 
own worship of Michelangelo. A number of different 
stories have come down to us on the origin of the pose. 

* At Palmentown Howe, Eildaie ; beloagt to tKe Earl of Ma^o. 

t Pott of " Pott** Fiactuie " fame ; the picture ii in Sc Bar- 
tholunew'i HcMintal. 

X The picture wai exhibited at the Bridah Inititatioo in 181] hf 
Hiomu Carter. 

i The " Snake in the Grau" of the Peel collectioa in the Nadoiu] 
Gallery. || Belongi to Mi. Joiepb Sidebotham. 



Biikr nf Fi/( 






According to one account, Reynolds asked Mrs. Siddoni 
to choose her own attitude, which she did at once, just as 
we see it in the |»cture.* Another tale nukes the de^gn 
the result of acddent, and that pounce upon a lucky 
change of pontion which was characteristic of Sir Joshua. 
In all probability each story has some truth in it. A 
single glance is enough to show that if Michelangelo had 
nerer punted his prophets and sibyls in the Vatican Chapel, 
Reynolds would nerer have left us the *' Tragic Muse " we 
know. Notlthat it takes^uch from any one of them. It has 
echoes both of the Joel and the Isuah, but it is rather on 
the general conception — the throne, the large disposition 
of the limbs, the figures in the background — thui upon 
details of pose that one's conviction is baaed that Reynolds 
had the Sistine figures in his mind when he erected his 
mental scheme^ Clothe the *' Tragic Muse " in Michel- 
angelo's colour, and you might substitute her for one of 
the existing sibyls without cauung a blot on the ceiling. 
The various claims made by Mrs. Siddons herself, that she 
chose the attitude, that she prevented Sir Joshua from 
spoiling the picture by the introduction of ** all the colours 
of the rainbow," and the likeness by working on the face 
after her sittings were over, were no doubt made in good 
faith ; but they repeat too exactiy what every sitter who 
nts for a successful portrait, what every patron who co- 
operates with an architect in the building of a successful 
house, what every manager who brings out a successful 
[day, says of lus own contribution to the final result, to be 
worth refiitation. As a matter of fact, this "Tragic 
Muse " is perhaps the only creation of Sir Joshua> at once 
important and entirely successful, in which he put his 
theories of the great style into literal execution. Founded 
upon the imitation — I use his own word — of Michelangdo, 
* See note in Appendix to Lealie and Ti71ot'i " Life." 



it is carried out with ^e peculiar reticence, in the matten 
of colour and texture, which Reynolds was always preadi- 
ing. In light and shade, too, it obeys a [nindple laid down 
in the Discourses, and itswbcde as|nratk}n, if we put aside 
the bowl and dagger bunness in the background, is towards 
that abstract method of vision which he discussed so tnucli 
and practised so Utde.* 

Sr Joshua quarrelled with Valentine Green over the 
" Tragic Muse." Green, who bad scraped several plates 
after his works, asked permisuon to engrave the picture. 
Reynolds answered that if the chmce of an engraver should 
depend on htm. Green's application being the first, '* should 
certainly be remembered." Mrs. Siddons, however, pre- 
ferred Francis Haward, to whom the commission wis 
accordingly given. Green lost lus temper, and not only 
abused Reynolds for pasung him over but declared that 
Ms statement, that Mrs. Siddons had recommended another 
artist, was not true. Reynolds seems to have sent him 
the following amusing melange of Joshuaesque and John- 
sonese : 

" London, ywu ttt, 178]. 

" Sir, — ^Yon bave the plcaiore, if it ii an^ pleunre to 700, oi ndaaaf 
me to the moat mortiffiiig utuation. I mutt dtber treat jour icciui- 
tion with the contempt ot ulence (which 7011 and joat fiiendi nu^ 
thiol pleading guilty), 01 I muat (ubmit to vindicate mpeii likf 1 

* The price put upon die original " Tragic Muse " by SIi Joilini 
wai a thouiand gnineai ; but after keeping it for Kane feait, be «^ it 
to M. de Calonne for ^£800^ At the Calonne tale, in 1795, it wu mU 
to Mr. Smith, of Nonrich, for 0oo ; Smith add it for £gK to 
Mr. G. Witton Taylor, at whote tale, at Christie't, in 1823, it mi 
bought by Earl Groarenor for £1837 lot. The replica at Dulwich 
teemt to hare been finiahed and told to Deienfant in 1789, a Tear after 
Calonne had bought what I have called the originaL Deienfaai paid 
jC735 for it. I agree irith Grarei and Cronin in thinking that boti 
pictnret are b7 Reynoldt himielf. For tome further detaili bearing 00 
their hittoiy tee the Catalogne at the end of this Ttdnme. 



crimiiul from a chaige giTca in the moit impcrioiu matin >r • and thii 
charge no leu than that of bemg a lui. I mentioned, in conTsnation, 
the latt time I lud the honour of teeing 70a at my hoote, that 
Mn. Siddoni had wiote a note to me Ktpecting the print. That note, 
at I expected to be belicred, I ne¥er dicamt at thowing ; and I now 
blnth at being forced to tend it in my own vindication. Thii I am 
forced to do, at jaa ale pleated to ta^ in ^onr letter that Mn. Siddont 
aerer did write or even ipeak to me in favour of any artiit. 

" But, inpponng Mrt. Siddont otit ot the qnettion, mj wordi (00 
friuch yott gtonnd jaat demand of doing the print ai a right, not at a 
faronr), I do not tee, can be interpreted at mch an abwdme promiic ; 
th^ mean oaiy, in the common acceptation, that, joa being the perton 
wbo fint ai^lied, that circnmitance tbodd not be forgot — that it thonld 
tors the tcale in your favour, tappoting an eqoality in other reipectt. 

" YoQ uj joa wait the retnlt ot taj determination. What tort of 
determination can yoa expect after toch a letter I Yon have been to 
good at to give me a piece of advice — for the future, to give nneqnivocal 
antipcn ; I ihall immediately follow it, and do now, in the ntoit on- 
eqnivocal manner, inform joa that yon thall not do the print." * 

The Exhibition of 1 784 is memorable in the history of 
English Art> for the breach between the Council of the 
Royal Academy and Gainsborough. For the garbled 
account of the quarrel which was so long accepted by 
English writers, the historians of the Academy and C. R. 
Leslie must share the blame. I have gone Into the whole 
matter at such length in my volume on Gainsborough, that 
I need here only warn readers of Leslie's pages that the 
paragraph on pp. 432-433 of Ms second volume is more 
than diungenuous. Giunsborough made no claim to have 
a group of full Ieng& portraits hung on the line, as one 
academic ap<d<^^t after another has asserted ; the mode- 
rate demand he really did make was not acceded to, and 
so he withdrew all his pictures and never exhiUted again. 
GainsbcxtJugh, in truth, was not an academizable person. 
He was no man of business, and he could never have so 

* Anacconntof thitpattageof ainuwaipoblitbedinthenewtpapen 
of^the time, with the cnre^ondeace. 



ot^amzed his ideai as to make them of much me to 
students. But his fellow Acfldemidans should have seen 
that in supplying their ExhibiUon every year with deli- 
cious and most attractive works of art, he was in fact con* 
tribudng more than any one except Reynolds himself to 
the finandal success of the institution. It is absurd to 
write as if he deserved ill of the Academy because he 
neither came to meetings f>f the Council nor took his turn 
as visitor. He would have been a mere embarrassment if 
he had done these things. His mission was to help Sir 
Joshua in making the annual appeal to the public intas- 
tible, and superbly he fulfiUnl it. 

The Academy dinner of 1784 was the last to number 
Johnson among the diners. On the 2 ist of April he had 
returned thanks in St. Clement's for his restoration to 
comparative health, and had surprised Mrs. Thrale t^ 
announcing his intention to form one of Sir Joshua's sup- 
porters. ** I cannot publish my return to the world more 
effectually, for, as the Frenchman says, tout U mondt s'y 
trouvera" he writes before the date ; afterwards he tells the 
same correspondents : 

"On Sixatiaf I ibowed fflfMlf >gun to the living wnld itdie 
Exhibition ; much and (plendid wu the compuiy, bnt, like the Doge of 
Genoa at Parii, I admired nothing bnt mTielf. I went up all the itiin 
to the pictoiei, irithont Mopping to lett or to breathe, 

' la aO the madneti of anpcrflnous health.' " 

During the summer n^;otiations went on between Rey- 
nolds, Boswell, and Lord Chancellor Thurlow, with the 
object of procuring a grant from the King's purse to enable 
Johnson to winter in Italy. The project fuled, it is said 
through the Chancellor's reluctance to ask a (ayoar of mtt ; 
while Thurlow's own personal offer f>f a gift, disguised la 
a loan, of five or six hundred pounds, was gratefully 


Mks. Kav and Mis^ Dkut. 




declined by the Doctor. In December Johnson died. On 
his death-bed he made three requests of Reynolds : never 
to paint on Sunday ; to read the Bible whenever he could, 
and always on Sunday ; and to forgive him a debt of thirty 
pounds. Sir Joshua made no difficulty over making all 
three promises, but the first two he thought it needless to 

The following character of Johnson is printed in Leslie 
and Taylor's bt<^^phy, from a manuscript lent to them 
by Miss Gwatkin. Like the two dialogues printed in the 
last chapter, it shows Sir Joshua as an eager observer when 
he was not winding himself up in generalizations and 
abstract ideas : — 

"Fromiiunyftan' intinuicy with Dr. Johnaon, I certainly have had 
the meani, if I had equally the ability, ai giving you a true and perfect 
idea of the character and peculiariuet of thii extraoidiDary mao. The 
habiti of my profenion unluckily extend to the contideration of io much 
only of chaiactet u liei on the torface, aa ii ezpreued in the lineaments 
of the conntenaoce. An attempt to go deeper, and investigate the 
peculiar colouring of his mind ai distinguished from all other minds, 
nothing butyour earnest desire can excuse. Such a) it is, yon may make 
what use of it you please. Of bis learning, and so much of his character 
as is discoverable in his writings and is open to the inspection of every 
person, nothing need be said. 

" I shall remark such qualities only as his works cannot convey. And 
among those the most distinguished was his possessing a mind which was, 
ai I may say, always ready for use. Most general subjects had un- 
donbtedly been already discussed in the course of a studious thinking 
life. In this respect, few men ever came better prepared into whatever 
company chance might throw him, and the love which he had to society 
gave him a facility in the practice of applying his knowledge of the 
matter m hand in which I believe he never was exceeded by any man. 
It hat been frequently observed that he was a lingolat instance of a man 
vibo had so much distinguished himself by his writings, that his conversa- 
tioa not only supported his character as an author, but, in the opinion 
of many, was superior. Those who have lived with the wits of the age 
blow how rarely this happen*. I have had the habit of thinking that 
this quality, u well as others of the same kind, ate possessed in consequenca 
of accidental circnmstances attending his life. What Dr. Johnstm said 



3 few dayi before hii death of hit dUpoiitioii to inMnit]' vnt no new 
diioiTeiy to thoKwhowere intiiiute with hJm. The chsncter of ImUc 
in Raiteiat, I tdwaji considered as a comment on hi* own conduct which 
he himself practised, and, as it now appean, yeiy niccenfullj, unce we 
koow that he ccmtinued to poMew hit nndentanding in its fnll Tigoni to 
the last. Solitude to him was honor ; nor would he ever trait bjnm-lf 
alone bnt when emplo^d in writing or readii^. He h«i often begged 
roe to go home with him to prevent hii being alone in the coach. Any 
otaaptaj was better than none ,- by which he connected himself with 
manjr mean perioni whose presence he conld command. For thij pnr- 
pose he eitabUthed a dab at a little alehooae in Essex Street, composed 
of a strange mixture of veiy learned and very ingenions odd people. Of 
the former were Dr. Heberden,Mr. Windham, Mr. Boiwell, Mr. Sterent, 
Mr. Paradise. Those of the btter I do not think proper to com- 
meTOOTate, B7 thus living, bj* necessitji so mock in companj', mcnv 
perhaps than any Other itudioni man whatever, he had acqoiied by habit, 
and which habit alone can give, that facility, and wc may add docility, 
of mind by which he was so much distinguished. Another circumstance 
contributed not a little to the power which he had of expressing himiflf, 
which was a rule, which he said he always practised on every occaHon, 
of speaking his best, whether the person to whom he addressed himself 
was or was not capable of comprehending him. * If,' says he, * I am 
understood, my labour is not lost. If it it above that comprehension, 
there is some gratification, though it it the admiration of ignocance,' and 
he said those were the most sincere admlrert : and quoted Baxter, who 
made a role never to preach a sermon without saying something which 
he knew was beyond the compreheniion of his audience in order to in^ire 
their admiration. Dr. Johnion, by this continual practice, made that a 
habit which was at first an exertion : for every person who knew him 
must have observed that the moment he was left out of the omvertaaon, 
whether from hit deafness or whatever cause, bnt a few minutes, without 
speaking or listening, his mind appeared to be preparing itself. He fell 
into a reverie accompanied by strange antic gestures ; but this be never 
did when hi) mind was engaged by the conversation. These were 

therefore improperly called, by at well at by others, convulsions, 

which imply involuntary conu>rtioni ; whereat, at a word addressed to 
him, his attention was recovered. Sometimes, indeed, it would be near 
a minute before he would give an answer, looking as if he laboured to 
bring hit mind to bear on the question. 

" In arguing, he did not trouble himself with much drcnmlocation, 
but opposed, directly and abruptly, hit antagonist. He fought with all 
•om of weapons ; ludidou comparitont and timilet ; if all failed, with 


Sir Cuthbbrt Quiltbr, Bart., M.P, 




ntdeoen and overbearing. He thought it neceiuiy nerei to be wotMed 
in argument. He had one viitue, which I hold one of the mott difficult 
to practiae. Aita the heattrf contest wat over, if he had been iDfonned 
tlut hia Bstagonift reaented hit rudenen, he waa the fint to leek after a 
reconciliatiwi ; and of hia Tirtne* the moat diatingoiihed wai hii love of 

"He aometimea, it mnit be confetied, covered hii ignvance hj 
generalt, rather than appear ignorant. Yon will wonder to hear a peraon 
who loved him ao aaastly apeak that freely of hit friend, bnt yon muit 
recollect I am not writing hii panegTrick, bnt, ai if upon oath, not onljr 
give the tmth, bnt the whole truth. 

" Hit pride Had no meanneat in it ; there wai nothing little or mean 
about him. 

" Truth, whether in great or little nuttera, he held lacred. 

"'From the violation of truth,' he taid, 'in great thing* yonr 
character or jonr intereit wai affected, in letter thingt your pleaaure it 
equalfy dettroyed.' I remember, on hit relating lome incident, I added 
•omething to hii relauon which I luppoaed might likewise have happened : 
' It would have been a better itoiy,' ujt he, ' if it had been to; but it 
wat not.' Our friend Dr. Goldimith wat not to icmpuknit ; bnt he 
■aid he only indulged hlmaelf in white l^et, light u feather*, which he 
drew up in the air, and on whomever they fdl, nobodj' wu hurt. ' I 
wiih,' ttjt Dr. Johnnn, * 700 would take the trouble of moulring youi 

" I Mice inadvertent^ put him in a ntaatian from which none but a 
man of perfect integrity could extricate himaeU. I pointed at tome 
line* in the Traiv/itr which I told him I wat tnre he wrote. He 
hetitated a little ; during thit heiitation I recollected n^telf, that at I 
knew he would not lye I put him in a cleft itick, and thonld have had 
but my due had he given me a rough aniwer, bnt he only laid : ' Sir, I 
did not write them ; bnt, that you may not imagine that I wrote more 
than I really have, the utmoit I have wrote in that poem, to the bett of 
my recollection, it not more than eighteen linet.' It mnit be obaerved 
there wat then an opinion about town that Dr. Johnson wrote the itiiole 
poem for hit friend, who wat then, in a manner, an unkncnm writer. 
Tbit ««duct appean to me in the highest degree correct and refined. 
If the Dr.'t conscience would have let him told a lye, the matter would 
have been toon over. 

"Aa in his writings not a line can be found which a saint would wish 
to blot, to in his life he would never tnSer the least immorality, in- 
decency of conversation, contrary to virtue or pie^, to proceed vrithout 
a terete check, which no ekvatioD of rank exempted them from. . . . 




** Cntttxn, ot poUteseM, or coortif maanen, hu aatttorijed tscli u 
EMtem hyperbolical ttjrlc of compliment that part <rf Dr. Jcduuon'l 
character for ndeixa (rf manner* mnit be put to the acconnt d tUt 
•cntpnlotti adherence to truth. Hit obitiiute lilenc^ whilit all the 
company were in raptnret, vying with each other who ihoold pepper 
highett, wat contidered m rudene» oi Ol-natare. 

" During hiilaitillneM, when all hope wai at an end, be appeared to 
be quieter and more reiigned. Hii ap|woaching divolotion wat alwayt 
present to hi* mind. A few days before he died, Mr. Langton and 
myself nily prcMnt, he said he had been a great linner but he hoped 
he had giren no bad example to hit friends : that he had K»ne oookHm.- 
tioa in reflecting that he had never denied Ouiit, and repeated the 
tat : ' Whoever denies me,* Ace. We were both vety ready to atntre 
him that we were conicioni that we were better and wiser from hit life 
and conversation ; and tha^ to far from denying Christ, he had been, 
in this age, Hit greatest champion. 

" Sometimet a flath of wit escaped him as if involuntary. He was 
asked how he Ulced the new man that was hired to watch by him. 
* Instead of watching,' says he, ' he ikept 1i^ a dormouse ; and when 
he helps me to bed he is as awkward as a turnspit dog the first time he 
is put into the wheel' 

" The Christian religion wat with him tnch a certain and ettabUshed 
truth, that he considered it a kind of profanation to hold any argument 
about its truth. 

" He was not euify imposed upon by profeuions of honesty and can- 
dour ; but be appeared to have little anipicion of hypocrisy in religion. 

" Hit pastiont were like thote of other men, the difierence only lay in 
his keeping a stricter watch over himself. In petty circnnutancea diii 
wayward disposition appeared, bnt in greater thingt he thought it worth 
while to tummon hit lecollectirai and to be always on his guard. . . , 
Many instancet wilt readily occur to those who Icnew him intimately, of 
the guard which he endeavoured always to keep over himsdf. 

"Tbe prejndicei he had to countries did not extend to individuali. 
The chief prejudice in which he indulged hinuelf was against ScotLind, 
though he bad the most cordial frieodthip with individuals. Thit he 
used to vindicate at a du^. In respect to Fienchmen he rather lauded 
at himsdf, but it was iniurmonntable. He contideted every fweigner 
at a foot till th^had convinced him of the contrary. Against the Irish 
he entertained no ^jndice, he thought they nnited themsdvcs very 
well with US ; bnt the Scotch, when in England, united and made a 
party by employing only Scotch tervantt and Scotch tradesmen. He 
held it right for Englishmen to oppose a party agsintt them. 



"ThitreaaoningMoiiIdhATe more weight if the nninben wen eqiuL 
A isull bod^ in a iuger hu tnch gteat diudTOntage* that I feat ai« 
tcaice counterbaLuicsd b^ whatever little combiiutiotu the^ make. A 
general combinatios against them would be little ibort of aimihila- 


** We arc both of Dr. Johnwn'i tchooL For my part, I acknowledge 
the highest obligatios to him. He may be laid to have formed my 
mind, and to have bmihed from it a great deal of rnbbiih. Thoie veiy 
people whom he ha* biought to think rightly will occatioaally critidie 
the opinions of their master when he nodi. But we shoold alw^ 
recollect that it is he himself who has tanght as and enabled oi to 

"llie drawback of his character it entertaining prejudices on very 
slight foondations : giving an opinion, perhaps first at random, bat from 
its being contradicted he thinks himself obliged always to support, or, 
if he cannot sapport, still not to acquiesce. Of this I remember an 
instance, of a ddect or foigetfulnesi in his Dictitmaty. I asked him 
how he came not to correct it in the second edition. * No,* tayi h^ 
' they made so much of tt that I would not flatter them by altering 

** From pauion, from the pievalence of hii disposition for the minute, 
he was constantly acting contrary to his own reason, to his principles. 
It was a frequent subject of animadTeision with him, how much anthms 
lost of the pleasure and comfort of life by their carrying always about 
them their own consequence and celebrity. Yet no man in mixed 
cnnpany — not to his intimates, certainly, for that would be an in- 
supportable slaveiy — erer acted with moie circumspection to hit character 
tlun himself. The most light and aiiy diipute was with him a disputa 
in the arena. He fought on every occasion at if hit whole reputation 
depended on the victoiy of the minute, and he fought with all his 
weapons. If he was foiled in argument, he had recoune to abuie and 
rudenest. That he was not thus strenuous for victoiywith hit intimates 
in dtt-k-l/u converutiont when there were no witnesses, may be easily 
believed. Indeed, had his conduct to them been the same as he 
exhilnted to the public, lut friends could neref have entertained that 
love and affection for him which they all feel and profess for hit 

** But what appean extraordinary it that a man who to well taw, 
himtdf, the folly of thii ambition of shining, of tpesJ^ing, or of acting 
always according to the character im^ned to be poitessed in the 
world should produce himself the greatest example of a contrary 



"Were I to write the life of Dr. Johuon, I woaU Ubonr tliii point, 
to lepaiate hii condnct tlut proceeded from bit fuumu and wbxt pio 
ceeded from hii leanii, from hii natnnl ditpotition seen in hii quiet 

In this elaborate descriptioii Sir Joshua to some extent 
justifies the estimate of a painter's qualifications as a judge 
of character with which he began. It goes a little deeper, 
perhaps, than *' so much only of character as is expressed 
in the lineaments of the countenance," but it is by no 
means profound. Reynolds makes no attempt to realise 
Johnson's character from within, or to track out the roots 
of the remarkable personality with which be had been 
Auniliar for so many years. He is content with phe- 
nomena, and seems unconsdous that they must have had 
causes. We shall find him displaying the same inductive 
weakness in his Discourses. It would be un^r to criti- 
ase this character of Johnson from a literary stam^XMnt. 
It is merely a first draft, full of redundant words, dumsy 
phrases, and shaky grammar, which revision, his own and 
perhaps some one else's, would afterwards correct. To me 
it seems probable that it was written at the request of 
Boswell, who may have had the revised copy. The indu- 
uon of Boswell's name among the '* very learned " 
members of the Essex Street Club seems to point m that 

Sr Joshua's pictures few 178J were: Mrs. Smith,* 
Lady Hume,t Mrs. Musters,^ a lady unidentified, the 
Earl of Korthington,^ Sir H. Munroe, H the Prince of 

* MiitieMofSiTjohn;Lide,Thrale'taeiJiew,whoafteiwud*tiUfzied 
hei ; the pictoie is at Waddeidon. 

t Aftetmrdi htdy Amelia Home; the |»ctiiTe beltaigi to Lord 

t Aj Hebe ; the pictoie belong* to Lord Iveagh. 

$ In the National Gilleiy of Ireland. 

U At Coutu'i Bonk in the Stnnd. 


O o 



Wales,* Mrs. Stanhope,t Three Children of the Duke of 
Rutland,;^ Venus,^ a gentleman, a little girl, two por- 
traits of noblemen,|l and two of officers,)! sixteen |»c- 
tares in all. Although no one of the sixteen could be 
included in a Ust of Sir Joshua's masterpieces, they nearly 
all rise above his. average level, and show that as yet his 
brain had lost none of its vigour nor his hand any part of 
its cunning. The Lord Northington is remarkable for the 
extreme freedom and felicity of its brushing. It seems to 
be entirely from the master's own hand, and suggests that 
the generous praise of Frans Hals, in the sixth Discourse, 
was accompanied by the uncerest form of flattery. The 
three full length ladies are all good, although they scarcely 
reach the level of " Lady Croslne " and a few others one 
could name. 

In the autumn of this year Reynolds made his third 
trip to the Low Countries. On September 12 began at 
Brussels a great sale of pictures removed from religious 
establishments under an order from the Emperor. Sir 
Joshua spent about a thousand pounds at the sale, but he 
appears to have bid through an agent, for he himself was 
back in England at least two days before the auction 
commenced. On September 10 he signed his curious 
borgsun with the sanguine Boswell, to paint the lattcr's 
portrait, and wait for payment from the first fees he, 

* Tlie Fed pictnn, in the National Galln]'. 

t Eliza Falconer, DUiried Hon. Httay Fitzn^ Stanliope, lectKidion 
of and Earl of Harrington. The pictniewa* catalogned » "Mekn- 
cholf." The owner is nnknown to me. 

t Burnt in the file at Betvoir, in 1816. 

f Bequeathed t^ Reynoldi to the Earl of Upper Otiory ; it now 
bdragt to Lord Caidetown (rf Upper 011017. ^>^ Joihtu repeated the 
compodtton leveial timet. The excellent replica in Sir Cnthbert 
Quiher'* collection ii the beit known of thete. Leslie and Taylor are in 
error irikea they identify the 1785 pictnrc with the Peel "Snake in die 
Gtau." il Not identified. 




Boswell, should earn u a barrister in Westminster HiIL Sir 
Jo^ua tlus year received his commissioafor a pictorefrom 
Catherine of Runia, and was hard at woric on the Inhat 
Hercules before many weeks of it had passed. His thtr. 
teen contributions to the Academy were : A Child with 
guardian Angels ; * and portnuts of Er8kine,t the Duke 
of Orleans,] two Children of Benjamin Vandergucht,{ 
Lady TaylorJ the Solicitor-General, Lee,T the Duchess 
of Devonshire and her little daughter,** Joshua Sharpe,tt 
Countess Spencer,}] John Hunter,§{ Miss BinghamJI 
a " young gentleman," and '* a gentleman.'* Walpole's 
note on the group of the Duchess of Devonshire and her 
child is surprising. He calls it " little Uke and not good." 
As to the likeness, it is difficult for us, who Have to be 
guided by a collation of impressions, to contra(Uct him ; 
but if his judgment upon it was no better than his verdict 
on the work of art, it need not trouble our pleasure. For 
the " Jumping Baby " is one of the great achievements of 
modern painting. It seems to me one of the three most 

* In the pouettion of the Duke of Leeds, at Homhf Cutle. 

t At Windior Cmle. 

t Bunt in the fire at Carlton Hook. There ii a good copf, i& 
■mill, at Chintilly; another it at Petwonh. 

§ Thia identification ii doe to Gravei and Cionin. Walpole calli the 
IHctore " Children of h»dy Lucao," which could not be. The Vander- 
gncht picture wai in the Wjnn EUii collection, whence it paned to 
Mr. B. A. Willc<a. 

II WHe of Sir John Ta7lOT, F.R.S. The picture waa in the Wjun 
Ellii collection, and it now in that of M. Groult, in Parii. 

^ "Honeit Jack Lee." The picture belonged to Mr. Manejr- 
Mainwaiing. •" At Chatnrorth. 

tt Belonged in 1884 to Mr. Makohn of Poltalloch. Sharpe died on 
die day the Academy of 17S6 opened. 

tt Lavinia (Bingham), wife of and Eatl Spencer. The pctnre ii at 
Altboip. ^ In the College of Snrgeoni. 

nil Hon. Ann, afterwards Lady Ann, Bingham. The picture ii at 




entirely successful creations of Sir Joshiia, the other two 
b«Qg Sir Charles Tentuuit's *'Lady Crosbie" and the 
« Nelly O'Brien " of the Wallace Gallery. In each of 
these delicious pictures Reynolds has hit upon a conception 
entirely suited to his powers^ and has carried it out with a 
combination of richness, breadth, and simplicity, which 
ruses him for the moment to the highest lerel touched by 

In matters <Usconnected with his work, 1786 was, 
perhaps, the busiest of Sir Joshua's later years. His love 
of society was as great as ever, and many new fiiends, as 
well as old ones renewed, appear in his engagement book. 
He becomes a more persistent theatre-goo' than ever, and 
adds the name of Dorothy Jordan to those of the stately 
Sddons and the impish Abington on his list of stage 
favouritts. He goes often, too, to Mrs. "Perdita" 
Robinson, who was probably a better talker than either of 
the others ; and an entry for the first of May refers to an 
evening with the famous Marian Imhoff, the wife of 
Warren Hastings. His neutrality among warring elements 
could not be better proved than by this appearance at the 
Hastings's house on the very day when his life-long &iend, 
Burke, opened his parallels against the ex- Viceroy's repu- 
tation. This was the Dreyfus year of the eighteenth century. 
The Diamond Necklace scandal had set all France by the 
cars, and London society could talk of little else. The 
Chevalier — orChevaliere! — D'Eon was here, and Sir Joshua 
is sud to have punted, or at least b^un, his, or her, portrait 
Tom Taylor says an unfinished picture by Reynolds, which 
belonged to the late Charles Reade, traditionally bore the 
name of this mysterious specimen of double humanity.* 

* GiATM and Cronia quote the following ttrange parigiaph from 
the Mormng HtraU of 1785 : " No. 71. Portrait of a Lady. TTiere 
■orely it a mittake in the Catalogue. The piece it either a gentleman'! 



Thirteen pictures agun made up Sir Joshua's quota in 
the Exhibition of 1787. Here is the list: Ladjr Smith 
and her Children ; * Lady St. Asaph and Clukl ; t Mrs. 
William Hope ; X Mrs. Stanhope ; $ Lady Cadt^an ; | Lady 
Elliot ; T Angds* Heads ; ** Lord Butghersh ; ft Master 
Yorke; tt Miss Ward; §§ the Prince of Wales; I! Sir Henry 
Engtefield ; ^ and James Boswell.*** Several of these 
appear in Ramberg's well-known picture of the great 
room at the Academy, which was punted this year. Much 
of Sir Joshua's energy was at this time absorbed by the 
amtudous jHCture of the " Infant Hercules Strangling the 
Serpents," for the Russian Empress, and there is a con- 
siderable falling oiF in the number of his sitters. His 
sodal engagements, nevertheless, are as numerous as ever, 
the most significant, perhaps, being his presence at the first 
performance in the Duke of Richmond's theatre at White- 
hall, on the site of the present Richmond Terrace. The 
company was restricted to eighty, and an invitation was a 

portrait, or elte that of Miss D'Eon in the emblemi of the Order of the 

* Lately in the pouetuon of Mr. C. P. Hnatington, of New Yoii. 

t BeloDgt to the Eail of Athbaniham. 

t Pretent owner unknown. 

§ The picture known ai " Contcmpladon." Itwaswld atChiiitie'i 
with the Monro collection in 1878. 

II Pietent owner unknown. The litterwaa Mary (Churchill), Mcond 
wife of the 3rd Baron Cadogan. 

4 Anna Maria (Amjand), wife of Sir Gilbert Elliot, afterwardi Earl 
of Minto. The picture belongi to Lord Minto. 

•" The pcture in the National Gallery. 

tt In the collection of the Earl of Jewey. 

tX Afterward* Lord lU^ton. Drowned in the Baltic in 1808. The 
picture belong* to Lord iTeagh. 

^ Natural daughter of John, xnd Vitconnt Dudley and Ward. 

II II In the Robei of the Garter, with a black Krraitt in Huiaar dren 
arranging hia belu. The picture belong! to the Earl of Londooa. 

04 Preieut whereabout! unknown to me. 

"** The Peel picture, in the National Gallery. 



National Galliry 






prize. Politically, the event ta which Reynolds may be 
supposed to have been chiefly interested was the Hastings 
trial and the delivery of Sheridan's great speech on the 
Bourns of Oude. It must have tried even his tact to show 
s proper feeling on the oratorical triumph of his old friend, 
at the same time as he was daily becoming more intimate 
with Hastings and his wife. That his delicate steering did 
not involve duplicity we may gather from the hct that on 
February 13th, 1788, the first day of the trial in West- 
minster Hall, he did not shrink from appearing in the 
manager's box with Burke, Wyndham, and Sheridan, or 
from exchanging bows from that compromising situation 
with the friends he saw in court. It will be remembered 
that Gainsborough was also present, and that he ascribed 
his fatal illness to a chiU caught on the occasion. 

The following seventeen pictures represented Sir Joshua 
in the Exhibition of 1788 : The In&nt Hercules;* A 
Girl Sleeping ;t A Girl ^th a Kitten ;t portraits of Sir 
George Beaumont ; § Colonel Bertie ; | Mr. Braddyl ; T 
Mrs. Drummond Smith ; ** Lord Damley ; ft Lady Betty 
Foster ; ti Lord Grantham with his Brothers ;§§ Miss(Hdeon 
with her Brother ; U Lady Harris ; T^ Lord Heathfield ; '•• 

* In the Imperul Hennitage, St. Petenborg. 

t la the collection of the Earl of Noithbrook, at Strittoo. 

X Known as " Felina " ; the pictnie belong! to Mr. Pierpoat 
IdoTgan. Many replicu and old copies exiit. { At Coleorton. 

II Afterwaidi 9th Earl of Lindsay. The pictaie belongi to Lord 
Wimbome. IT Belonged, in 1S65, to Cox, the dealer. 

** Now the piopertr of Mr. Herbert Gotling, Chertiey. 

tt Not certainfy identified. 

tt Afterward* Dncheu of Deronihire. The picture belongt to the 
Doke of Devonihire. ^ In Lord Cowpei*! pouemon. 

nil MiM Gideon became the wife of the nth Lord Saye and Sele. 
The pictare beltuig* to Mn. Colling Hanbnry, Bedwell Park, Hatfield. 

W Harriet Mary (Amyand), afteiwarda wife of Sir Jamei Hairii, 
created Earl of Malmerinuy. The picture belonged in 1898 to 
l/b. C J. Wertheimer. *** In the National Galleiy. 

177 11 



Cc^onel Moi^an ; * Lord Sheffield ; f Mr. Windham ; t tnd 
the Duke of York.$ 

I should be inclined to put Sir Joshua's " Infant He^ 
cults " with Iu8 " Ugc^no " and his " Death of Cardinal 
Beaufort" in a class apart, and to label them Tn^;e(Uesof 
Compliance. We must accept them, I think, as Sir Jodraa's 
substitute for vices. Most men of unusual powers have 
wasted part of them in proceedings which were detri- 
mental to themselves and of no profit to their neighboun. 
Reynolds lived soberly and prudently, except when he orer- 
weighted his easel with these qua^ -historical madu no . 
Let us take them as his tribute to human frailty, and pn 
up all attempts to bring them within any reasonable view 
<^ art For the "Hercules" he recdved from Catherine 
fifteen hundred guineas, a jewelled box, and a graceftil 
letter of thanks. There were ten pictures under it, he 
ccmfessed, some better, some worse. Now that the axfaa 
are banning to force their way to the surfiux, it is litde 
but an unpleasant morgue. 

We are now arrived at the last year of Sir Joshua's 
activity as a punter. At the b^inning of 1789 there 
was little to warn the President's friends that his forty 
years of industry had arrived at thar end. His health 
was apparentiy good, his social appearances more frequent 
than ever. Europe was on the eve of the great convul- 
sion ; the Bastille was to fall in July, and the various 
pnssions provoked by that event were to divide Sr 
Joshua's fiiends and leave his placidity the chief bond of 
union between them. The year, in short, was the last of 

* Sold at Cliiutie*i, in 1890, to Mr. Fitzheoir. 
t Gibbos'i patron ; the pictoie bek>ngt to the pretent EuL 
t The Rt. Hon. William Vt^ndham. The picture beloogi to ilte 
Natiosal Gallerj, but ii hung in the Nadoiul Portnit GaOeiy. 
i In St. Jamei'i Palace. 







the real ughteenth century. It saw the end of the 
indifereotisin which had prevailed, in spite of party %ht- 
ing and royal wars, from the latter days of Dutch William ; 
and it saw the Inrth of that modern ferment, of that 
into'-vibration of human atoms, which has driven the 
world so hard and fair aincs Reynolds laid down his 
palette and brushes for the last time. Sir Joshua's art 
knew no decay. His latest pictures were among the best 
he ever punted. He sent eleven to his last Academy.* 
They were: Cymon and Iphigenia;t the Continence of 
Sdpio;J Robin Goodfellow, or Puck ;§ Cupid and Psyche ;|| 
Miss Gwatkin,t Hon. Mrs. Watson,** R. B. Sheridan,tt 
Lord Henry Fitzgerald,|{I^ord Iiffbrd,$§ Lord Rodney,|||| 
and Lord Vernon.TT Four, at least, of these should be 
included in any list of lus finest works; I mean the 
"Cymon and Iphigenia," the '* Robin Goodfellow," the 
'* Smplidty," and the " Lord liffbrd." The Buckingham 
Palace picture has never, I think, recdved all the 

• L, «nd T. ttf twdTc, but theii " Hon. Mm. Watton " ind " Portiait 
ct a Gentleman " piobabfy' refer to one and the lame picture. There 
•eenu to hsve been a mJstalte in the R.A. Catalogue or Sir Jothna 
changed liit cootribntioni at the Ian moment. 

t Given to Geoige IV.b^LadfThomond; itii now in Buckingham 
Palace. t In the troperial Heimitage, St. Petenbnrg. 

§ In the poueuioD of Mr. Geo. W. Fitzwilliam, Milum Home, 

[| In the ponetdon of Ladf Bnrdett-Contts, who alao has the sketch 
for it. 

V Known ai " Simplicity." Many old copies, and peihapi one or 
two replicas, exist. Lord Tweedmonth has (May 1905) one of the latter. 
The 1789 ^ctnre is at Waddeadon. 

** At Rockingham Castle, Northamptonshire. 

tt Owner nnknown to me. 

%t This entry ii donbtfnL It may refer to Hoppno'i well-known 
pCfftiait of Lord Henry, which waa exhibited this year. 

m Lftte^ in the poateauon of the Hon. Edward Hewitt. 

II Ij In St. James's Palace. Vf Owner imknomi. 



admiration it desenres. It is the best by far of Sr Joshua's 
ei^teriments in the nude. The conception is controlled by 
excellent taste, the linear arabesque is agreeable, and, if 
the obscuring coat of oil varnish with which Seguier pro- 
tected it were away, the beauty of its colour would surely 
be dbinterred.* The " Rotnn Goodfellow," or " Puck," 
as it was generally called, used to be one of the most 
famous of Sir Joshua's pictures. Rogers tells a story c^ 
how people called out, " There it is 1 " in the street, as it 
was carried from Christie's aucdon room on the day of the 
Boydell sale, in 1805. The "Lord Lifford," a Chancellor 
in his robes, with the great seal of Ireland and all the 
paraphernalia of a portrait de parade, is one of the most 
satisfactory things of its class in existence, and the 
" Sheridan " repeats the success with which the punter 
had realized the individuality of Fox seven years before. 

The end of Sir Joshua's career came with great abrupt- 
ness. On the 13th of July he was at work on a young 
lady's portrait, when his left eye became suddenly so much 
obscured that he had to lay down his brush. He never 
agun seriously took it up. "All things have an end," he 
quietly said, "and I have come to mine." His niece, 
Mary Palmer, who had the curious haKt of speaking 
about her uncle's art as if it were a harmless amusement 
out^de the serious bunness of life,t says, in a letter of 

• The ttory told by Ledic (L. ind T., vol. it, pp. 536-7) of the 
King** conTciMtioii with Seguier ia inctmriitent with pretent appear- 
ancei. Undei Seguier'i Tarniih— maitic mixed liberal^ with linseed 
oil — the picture ii clean enough. The nuface mnn hare bees '•Vfln'd 
before the Tarniih wai applied. The jrellow gloom through vriiich the 
channi of Iphigenia peer 10 ai^)ealingl7 teon* entirety dne to die i»«*eiice 
of the oil on vritich Seguier depended for the prevention of " chill." 

t In January, 1786, the wrote to the itme coireipondent ; " M7 
ancle •eemi more bewitched than ever with hi) pallett and pencik. He 
is painting from morning till night," dec 


Earl ok Chewe 




this year : " He amuses himself by sometimes deaiuDg or 
mending a picture, for Ms ruling pasnon continues in full 
force, and he enjoys his pictures as much as ever. . . . 
He enjoys cxtmpany, in a quiet way, and loves a game at 
cards as well as ever." The serenity in which he passed 
the remaining years of his life was only once interrupted. 
The history of the petty squabble which led to his tem- 
porary vacation of the President's chair at Somerset House 
has been told so often and is so little to the honour of any 
one concerned, that I do not propose to tell it again in 
any det^l. Broadly, what happened was this: In 1790 
an Associate had to be elected at the Academy. On a 
ballot being taken, the numbers were equal between Sawrey 
Gilpin and Bonomi, the Italian architect, who had recendy 
settled in England. Reynolds gave a casting vote for the 
iattct, and justified himself, quite needlessly, by explaining 
that he had acted in the hope that, when a vacancy' 
occurred, Bonomi might be promoted to the " full honours," 
and so made eUgible for the professorship of perspective. 
The other members resented the appearance of dictation, 
and ascribed the President's action to his dedre to serve 
Lord Aylesford, Bonomi's patron. Shortiy afterwards a 
vacancy occurred among the Academicians. Reynolds did 
his best for Bonomi, and was even instrumental in getting 
a number of the architect's drawings displayed in the 
room where the voting was to take place. This again 
most of those present resented, and the drawings had to 
be removed. The election then took place, and Fuseli 
was preferred to Bonomi by a great majority. Thereupon 
&r Joshua resigned the Presidency. This bare statement 
includes, I think, all the facts on which the various accounts 
agree. A considerable want of courtesy seems to have 
been shown to Reynolds in the course of the quarrel. 
Sir William Chambers, the leading spirit of the Academy, 



laid himself open to the suspicion of being fearful lest 
Bonomi should win too secure a foodiold in Ids, Sir 
WilUam's, own profesnon, while Sir Joshua himself scucdy 
behaved with hia usual tact. This, I think, is apparent in 
the long memorandum, endorsed <* Satisfkction in the 
matter of Bononu and the re^nation of the Freadent's 
chair,"* in wluch he gives his own account of the whde 
transaction. ^ Joshua persevered in hb determinatioa 
to resign, in s^ute of an intimation fi-om the King that 
" his Majesty would be happy in Sir Joshua's continmng 
in the Preudent's chur," until the i6th of March, when, 
the general assembly having made the amen^ konorahlt, and 
the King having signified his approval, he again took his 
old place in Somerset House. 

Saving In the matter of sitters, Sir Joshua's last yean 
were spent Uke the rest of his life. His attention was 
divided between the aiBurs of the Academy, the com- 
panionship of his remarkable circle of ftiends, the compo- 
ution of his last address, and the care of his works of art 
In a letter written by a daughter of his sister Johnson — 
to use the phrase of his time — ^we catch a curious glimpse 
of his careless hours. 

" He it beonne:," ihe Myi, " n Ticdendj' {bod of whiit, that he 
•caicety nsid to give the gentlemen time to drink their wine, befcoe he 
propoied pliTing caidi, that he might get a rubber before he went (to 
the Academy). He is not tied down to common rule*, bat alwi^ hit 
■ome icheme in Tiew , smd playt out hit tmmpi alwa7> ; for it it beneath 
his ityle of play erer to give hii partner an opganonivf of making hii 
tmmps ; but, notwithstanding, he generally inn*, from '"'■^'"g nich fine 

His fifteenth and last Discourse was delivered on the 
loth of December, 1790. It was mainly devoted to the 

* It is printed in L. and T., vtd. iL, pp. 558-s8>. 



character and abilities of A£chdangelo, and ends mth the 
famous and happy peroration : 

*' I feel a Klf-congratnlatioii in knowing myielf capable of mch 
■eniBtiont as he intended to excite. I refiect, not nithoat vanity, that 
theie Ditcoonei bear tHtimony of m^ admiration of tliat tmlj divine 
nun ; and I ihonld deiiie that the lait wnd* which I abonld pronounce 
■ in thii Academ7, and from thii place, might be the name td MICHEL- 

Fourteen months later Sr Joshtia Reynolds was dead. 
The last year of his life saw him occupied over many 
things which had an atmosphere of good-bye about them. 
He offered his valuable collection of pictures by the old 
masters to the Royal Academy at a nominal price, on con- 
dition that a gallery for them should be erected on the 
site of the Lyceum, in the Strand. The offer was declined. 
He then exhibited a part of the collection in a room in 
the Haymarket, calling it " Ralph's exhibition " and hand- 
ing over the profits to his old servant, Ralph Kirkley. 
Much of his attention was given to the project for a 
statue of Johnson, to be erected in St. Paul's, one of the 
few prefects of the kind which have ended in every way 
according to the hopes of the projectors. In May he sat 
for his portrait for the last time, to the Swedish ardst 
Carl Fredrik von Breda. The picture is in the Academy 
at Stockholm. In October, Sir William Chambers was 
lus substitute at Somerset House, and in November he 
made his will. A few days later he offered to resign the 
Preudency, feeling he was no longer equal to his duties. 
The general assembly, however, re-elected him on the loth 
of December, nominating West as his deputy. He never 
i^ain occupied the chair. At the end of November 
Boswell writes to Temple : 

" Mjr (piritt hare been itill more nmk hy teeing Sir Jothoa R^nolda 
almoK ai low ai m7*elf. He hai, for more than two montha pact, had 



a pain in hit blind eft, the effect of wliich liai been to inereue the 
weaknett is the other, and he brood* over the diunal ipprelLeniion of 
becoming qnite blind. He Lit been kept (o low u to diet that he ii 
quite lelazed and deiponding. He, who nied to be looked npca u 
peihapi the moit hapj^ nun in the world, it now u I tell job," 

Another visitor, Fanny Burney, describes him as wear- 
ing a bandage over one eye and the other shaded with a 
green half-bonnet. 

'* He seemed serious even to sadness, though extremely 
kind. * I am very glad,* he saad, * ... to see you agwi, 
and I wish I could see you better ! but I have but one 
eye now, and scarcely that* " Burke, writing to his son, 
declares the peace with which he approached death. 
" Nothing," he says, " can equal the tranquillity with 
which he views his end. He congratulates himself on it 
as a happy conclusion to a happy life." 

In the evening of Thursday, the 23rd of ^February, 
1792, Sir Joshua died. 




SIR Joshua's character as a man 

E character of Reynolds was not tnuis- 
uent. In this he offers a remarkable 
>ntrast to Gainsborough, whose per- 
)nality might be built up on the evi- 
ence of a single letter. Gdnsborough's 
iriends knew him as he was. They met 
him, no doubt, with diiFerent measures of toleration : to 
some, his uncertunty, his irresponMbility, his freedom of 
manners and tongue, were less pardonable than to others ; 
but they all drew his character in the same lines. It was 
not so with Reynolds. His friends agree upon superficial 
matters, but scarcely upon the personality that lay beneath. 
A strong side light is thrown by a story told by Boswell, 
which almost certainly relates to Sir Joshua. " Talldng 
of a friend of ours associating with persons of very dis- 
cordant principles and characters, I said he was a very 
universal man, quite a man of the world. Johnson. — 
* Yes, Sir ; but one may be so much a man of the worid 
as to be nothing in the world. I remember a passage in 
Goldsmith's Vicar of ff^akefield, which he was afterwards 
fool enough to expunge : * I do not love a man who is 
zealous for nothing.' " Reynolds was zealous for nothing. 
Never do we find the least touch of excited warmth in 
anything he wrote or anything he stud. The famous 



peroration to his last Discourse comes more nearly, perhaps, 
to abandon than anything else. With his well-wishers this 
was moderation ; with enenues, and with friends when they 
had been provoked by his imperturbability, it was coldness 
of heart. Moderation is a good low-water mark, but a 
bad high one. With Reynolds, I fear, it represented the 
highest level to which he could drive his interest, rather 
than any restraint upon bounding feelings or desires. He 
was essentially self-contained, by which I mean that he 
depended for his happiness entirely upon the effects of 
external things on his own personality, and not at all upon 
reflexes from the enjoyment of others. A life of solitude 
would not have pleased him ; he was no Di<^pws ; but his 
pleasure did not spring from seeing those about him h^py 
in thur own fashion. It came from the way in which 
their [voceedings affected his own sense of what was good 
in life. In short, he had none of the makings of an 
altruist ; he felt no impulse, nther from heart or mind, to 
make sacrifices or act agunst his wiU for the sake of giving 
an issue to desires he did not share. And yet it would 
be misleatUng to call him an unqualified egoist. His 
judgment was so unbiassed that his actions were those of a 
sympathetic man, although not as a fact dictated l^ 
sympathy. He appears seldom, if ever, to have ^ven 
offence, except on those occauons when his quietude was 
in itself an injury. To a quick and eager personality like 
that of Mrs. Thrale, the want of passion with which he 
contrived to be kind was a frequent provocation. We 
may guess that the turbulent and inconsequent Barry was 
driven backwards and forwards from good will to ill, by 
the irritating contrast between his own excitements and 
the measured way in which Reynolds met them, at one 
time with approval, at another with censure. Johnson's 


Mrs. Kav and Miss Drummonu 




assertion that he was the most inrulnenble man he knew, 
had a double force. It meant not only that it was difficult 
to find a weak point agunst which to plant a battery, but 
that also when a breach was made, the punter's equanimity 
would form the most effectual retrenchment. Leslie 
pretends to see in Sir Joshua a warm-hearted person, fiUed 
with the milk of human kindness, and energetically 
benevolent to every one abouthim. Before acceptii^ such 
a reading of his character, we should hare to ignore all the 
cUrect evidence we possess. In the jEace of such portnuts 
as those drawn by Goldsimth, Dean Barnard, and Mrs. 
Thrale, it is futile to build up a conception irrecondlable 
with theirs on deductions which may or may not be true. 
It is qtute certain that Reynolds was not collet monU. His 
relations with people like Wilkes, Charles Greville, Nelly 
O'Brien, and Mrs. Baddeley ; his union as it were in a 
sii^e pattern of Sheridan and Hastings, at the very 
moment when the one was building up his fame by invec- 
tive agunst the other ; the readiness — to quote a slight 
but not insignificant indication — with which he allowed a 
great lady in all her glory to seat herself in the chair just 
vacated by some unwashed gutter child ; all these suf^rt 
the charge of indiflferentism so often brought agunst him, 
and suggest a less amiable explanation of his iusouciance as 
a host than the one favoured by Leslie. His dealings 
with his own fiunily point in the same direction. He 
seems to have had no intercourse at all with his brothers. 
With his married sisters, he had bu^ness relations, which 
led to an occasional exchange of ideas. The spmster 
Frances, who lived in his house until she and he could 
stand it no longer, was a favourite mth all the world 
except her brother. Ofiy, his favourite Ofiy, was allowed 
to marry an ^proved suitor without even a letter of 



goodmll, until Burkc forced it fivm him. Northcote dis- 
turbed his equanimity by receiving a brother Devonian in 
the little den in which he was condemned to work ; and 
for thirty years his house was filled inth pupils to whom 
he scarcely showed himself, pufuls to whom he never 
makes the slightest allusion in his letters or conversation, 
pupils whose very names are unknown, except for one 
or two who find a casual mention in the talks of 

On the other hand if Reynolds had little heart, his 
instincts were in the right direction, and his taste was con- 
summate. He lived for more than forty years among men 
and women who bad often little in common beyond hb 
acquaintance and a reputation for wit ; and yet he had no 
quarrels. An occamonal outburst ^[unst the coolness of 
his judgment was the only sign of irritation he provoked 
from those he called his friends. He said he hated 
Barry ; but we may safely assume that what he felt was not 
hatred, but the intense irritation set up in a man of reason by 
the proceedings of a wrong-headed fanatic. He could be 
quietly jealous. The ephemeral vogue of LJotard spurred 
him to bitter w<»ds ; and his equanimity was disturbed by 
the outbreak of human nature which took place among his 
colleagues in 1790. In both these cases his displeasure 
was excited by attacks on his scheme of life ; by attempts, 
as it were, to head him off from the line of advance he 
saw stretching out before him ; and as soon as they ceased 
he fell back into his normal calm. So far as the aspect he 
presented to the world is concerned, all the evidence we 
have points in one direction. He was imperturbably 
kind, judicial, and non-impulsive. As to what lay beneath 
the suriace, men held di^rent opinions in his lifetime 
and have difered ever since. To me it appears indis- 



putable that Sir Joshua's heart was hard, but his mind 
just — a combination much more usual than we arc apt to 
think — and that his one pasuon, if it can be called a 
pas»on, was ambition, which in his case was a quiet, per- 
astent determination to fill as conspicuous a position in 
the society and the art of his time as his abilities and the 
accident of his birth would allow. 

Odds and ends of evidence, and we must rely on odds 
and ends, are worth nothing unless we can see them con- 
verging upon a personality, and that a personality con- 
nstent intii the actual work Reynolds has left us. Now 
the justification for all this discussion lies in the belief, at 
which I, at least, have arrived, that the things we really 
know of !^r Joshua as a man explain both Ms achieve- 
ments and his shortcomings as an artist It is difficult to 
identify the genial, afiectionate, somewhat happy-^o-lucky 
individual in whom Leslie would have us believe, with the 
piunter who, above all others, arrived at excellence by 
taking thought. Reynolds distrusted genius ; and from 
lus own point of view he was right. He arrived zt results 
scarcely to be distinguished fi-om those of genius, and did 
so entirely by the action of an original mind and a profound 
taste upon accumulated materials. His path towarda 
excellence was conscious, discriminative, judidal. Every 
step he took was the result of a deliberate choice. He 
felt no heats, driving him into particular expression in his 
own despite. Just as by fairness of mind he produced the 
effect of sympathy among his friends, so by imerring 
judgment he produces the efiect of creation on us who value 
his art. He appears to me the supreme, if not the only,, 
modern instance of a punter reaching greatness along a 
path every step of which was trodden deliberately, with a 
full consciousness of why it was taken and whither it was. 



leading, and with the power unlmpured to turn back or to 
change the goal at any moment. Superfidallj, the art of 
Sir Joshua resembled that of Raphad as Uttle as it well 
could ; mentally, the processes of the two men were 
curiously alike. Both possessed taste to such a d^ree 
that it b^ame genius ; and both were endowed, for the 
service of their taste, with a mental industry which is 









\0 many people, even among those with 
whom art is one of the serious considera- 
tions of life, any elaborate examination 
of a ptuntor's individuality seems imper- 
tinent. They say the world cares only 
for results, and that so long as the artist 
reaches acceptable conclusions, the method of his getting 
there is of interest to himself alone. Such an assertion raises 
the whole question of the significance of art What is it 
that attracts us in a work of art ? In spite of stale jeers 
about *' omjectiTe " and " sumjective," the answer can only 
be that the significance of a picture lies mainly in its 
objective qualities, for the tiro, and in its sutgective for the 
real ^preciator. The one is fascinated, like Dr. Samuel 
Reynolds, by its power to tromper fcfil, the other by the 
beauty and vigour of the personality behind it. If the 
value of art lay in the feigned reproduction of things 
already created by a force outude man, then the artist 
would by no means deserve the pnnnacle on which the world 
has placed him. In that case his genius would be of a 
secondary kind, and would be rightly compelled to yield 
the pas to those intellects which look upon existing things 
as stepping stones to something more. The mark of a 
^nt-mbt mind is the power to create ; to select, combine, 



and organise material into a whole that is at once new, 
coherent, and finite. No matter where we look — amoi^ 
statesmen, captuns, poets, philosophers, painters — ^tlus is 
our last although often unconscious test of what we call 
greatness. The mind which stops short at analysis^ 
arrangement, and exposition, no matter how acute and 
pellucid it may be, we relegate to the second row. It has 
missed that ability to work on the lines of nature herself 
with which the supreme spirits are endowed. 

The one perennial characteristic of the human mind is 
the determination to understand itself. The best proof of 
its own efficiency any human mind can give is a feat of 
synthesis, for the power to synthetize implies the inferitx* 
mental gift of analysis as well as a number of moral virtues. 
The most intimately comprehenuble residts of synthetic 
power are those attained by the artist, for there all con- 
verging efforts are so focussed that the organic nature of 
the product can be readily grasped. The deduction from 
this sorites is that behind the work of art lies the goal for 
which our critical curiosity is making, and that no energy 
is wasted which tries to understand the artist. " Ce que 
nous admirons dans I'oeuvre d'art, c'est le ginie de I'artiste," 
was the motto of V6ron, one of the clearest of modem 
writers on aesthetics. "Dans les oeuvres qui m'int^res- 
sent," said Thori, " les auteurs se substituent en quelque 
sorte k la nature. Quelque vulg^re qu'elle pAt £tre, ils 
ont eu une perception particuliere et rare. C'est Chardin 
qu'on admire dans te verre qu'il a punt. C'est le ginie de 
Rembrandt qu'on admire dans le caractire profond et sin- 
gulier qu^d a imprimi sur cette t£te quelconque qui posait 

* " In those worlu nfaich excite my inteieit, the aathon, in % ftmhimit 
■obstitDte themielTei foi nature. However commonplace ihe nu^ be, 
tbej look at hei with * itngnUi viiion of thai own. It ii Qurdin'* 


L_ Raphael, Esq. 




These quotations will do for a declaration of faith. It 
is absurd to stop at admiration. Before a Chardin, or a 
Rembrandt, we feel an irresistible desire to reconstitute the 
man, to reason out the " why " he became the particular 
kind of artist he was, to trace the connection between his 
personality as a whole and those special gifts which made 
him a creator, and to deternune the particular phtx in the 
hierarchy of artists to which his creations entitle him. In 
my last short chapter, I sketched the character of Reynolds 
as a social unit. I shall now try to show the connection, 
which was in some ways peculiar, between his lay character 
— if I may put it so — and his art. 

We have seen that through the whole of his life Sir 
Joshua's impulses were at the disposal of his reason. No 
untimely passion ever thrust him aside from the path he 
had traced out Even as a boy he was free from incon- 
venient enthusiasms, and was able, when asked ta choose a 
profession, to make distinctions as wise as they were unusual. 
" I will be a piunter," he sud, '* if you will give me the 
chance of becoming a good one ; otherwise I will sell 
drugs." No doubt he was seventeen when the choice was 
offered, but even at that age such common sense is rare. 
He gives one the impression, not so much, perhaps, that 
he had no passions, as that he could nourish one and starve 
another at vnH. He showed no resentment when he was 
turned out of the house by Hudson, and I cannot avoid a 
sneaking belief that he deliberately provoked his own dis- 
missal. He had been an apprentice for nearly two years, 
and must have felt that to spend two years more at the 

telf we admire in the glau lie paintt. It it by tlie geniui of Rembrandt 
that we are faKinated in the pretence of the deep and pecoliar tigni£- 
cance with which he inreiti the head of any model who happeni to po*e 
before him."— 5«/m A 1863. 

193 M 



work would be waste of time. This guess finds some little 
confirmation in the fact that of all the influences under 
which he came, that of his early master seems to be the 
only one he ever knowingly trioi to duke off.* He left 
Hudson, and b^n to compile his style;. We know from 
his proceedings in later years how thb would be done. 
He was awakened by Gandy to the posntHlides which lie 
in texture and to the ralue of breadth. Rembrandt 
showed him how the incidence of light could be made sig- 
nificant and expressive, and expluned, moreover^ that a 
portnut should hint at latent energy although it may 
scarcely display it in action. Ndther in the pictures of 
Gandy nor in such Rembrandts as were then to be seen in 
England, did he find much to stir his sense of colour. The 
early portrait of himself in the National Fortrait Gallery 
is a fine example, perhaps the best we have, of what he 
could do before his viat to Italy. It shows how wdl he 
had profited by such opportunities as had come in lus way. 
Although not a design in the fiiU sense of the word, it is 
happily conceived. The action allows unity to be won 
mthout any sense of effort. The colour is pleasant though 
sombre, and probably, when the picture was new, the 
shadow over the upper part of the face was more luminous 
than now. If Reynolds, at this period in his career, had 
had the luck to encoimter some one to tell him how to 
give all possible depth and brilliancy to his pigments with- 
out danger to their constitution, he might have gone near 
to treading on the heek of Rembrandt. He tried to 
penetrate the Dutchman's secret by copying, and not a few 
pictures which now pass under the name of Rembrandt 

* In hii nutter't ttadio he muit tX Itut hare learot to paint lo&ndly, 
to telect and nunipnlate his matemlt with lome thonght of the faton ; 
and Tet, ten yetn later, we find him setting the example of recUatneu 
in thit respect which h» been lo ruinont to hi« tcfaooL 



ihow unmistakably the hand of Reynolds.* It is not 
often, however, that he carried out a process consistently, 
and mth sufficient foresight. He went over the ground 
as often as the fancy took him, he employed glazes differ- 
ing too slightly in tone from the solid painting beneath, 
and he failed to make suffidmt use of the contrast in kind 
between reflecting and absorbent sur^ces. In sh(»t, he 
tentatively felt his way in a method wtuch demands for 
complete success that its user shall know exactly, from the 
very beginning, what has to be done. 

The tfta of Reynolds were first opened to the posu- 
bilities of colour by his Wsit to Italy. In England he 
had been preoccupied with eiFects of light and shadow. 
In Italy the decorative simplicity, the broad satisAction with 
a simple surface, which is one of the marks of the south, 
touched his imagination, and led him to wcn-k, for a time, 
in a manner that we hardly recc^nise as his. He remitted 
his [Muctice of building up a picture. He punted frankly 
and "straight away," substituting distribution for con- 
centration, and abandoning his cheese theory for the 
nonce. The best example I can point to of this pasung 
phase in his development — ^it did pass, entirely — is the 
parody on the School of Athens, wluch is quite free A'om 
darkening, cracking, fading, or any other sign of premature 
decomposition. Unfortunately he was not content to 
persevere in simple methods. Such technique as that of 
the caricatures is rare in his practice. His satisfaction 
mth Italian mmplicity soon gave way to the desire to com- 
Inne the force and depth of Rembrandt with the dea>- 
rative splendour of the south. What this led to may be 
seen in the " Giuseppe Marchi " at Burlington House, and 
that " Mrs. Chamb^" of which McArdeli made such an 
* Unlen I un greatly miiUken there is one in the Natio&al Gallei^. 



exquisite mezzodnt Both these ^ctures are Rembrandta 
plus a Venetian touch in their colour, and when still fresh 
they probably justified their author's ambition. We know 
that he was proud of both performances, and was willing 
to make them his avant-courtun in England. But 
his technical knowledge was unequal to the ta^ of 
ensuring longevity to its effects ; both pictures were soon 
thrown out of keeping by irregular modifications of their 
substance, and both arc now somewhat horny and opaque. 
The " Mardu " was the first picture finished after his 
return to London ; the " Mrs. Chambers " was psunted in 
Paris, on his way home. The next addition to his esthetic 
resources ts embodied in the famous **Keppel " of 1753, 
in which he makes such bold use of dramatic action. The 
general movement ts sud to have been conveyed fi^m a 
statue, but which statue I do not know.* It is dear, how- 
ever, that the principles of sctdpture had for the moment 
intruded upon the thoughts of Reynolds when he was 
fixing his de»gn. The perfect balance and detachment 
of Keppel's figure ; the way it stands upon its feet, its 
promise of equal harmony from all points of view, our 
feeling that we could turn it, on a pivot ; all these support 
the notion that the first hint was taken from something 
" in the round," and show once more how ready he was 
to profit by what other people had done. In a paper 
quoted by Lesrie,t Reynolds declares how he considered 
himself as "pla3ring a great game" and laying very bold 
foundations for a success which he hoped was to come. 
" Instead of beginning to save money, I laid it out faster 
than I got it, in purchasing the best examples of art th^ 

* The letembUnce* to the Apollo BelTcdere are, of coone, obriooi, 
and Lcdie (eemi to allode to lomc deriratiTe from that too fimon 
figure at p. 106 of hii fint volume. 

t VcJ.i,p. 115. 




could be procured ; I ereu borrowed money for this pur- 
pose. The possesion of pictures by Titian, Vandyck, 
Rembrandt, &&, ] considered as the best kind of wealth. 
. . . Study, indeed, consists in learning to see nature, and 
may be called the art of using other men's minds. . . . 
My principal labour was employed on the whole together ; 
and I was never weary of changing, and trying difierent 
modes and different efiects. I had always some scheme in 
my mind, and a perpetual deure to advance." Further on 
in thC' same paper he says : "I was always willing to 
believe that my uncertainty of proceeding in my works — 
that is, my never being sure of my hand, and my frequent 
alterations — arose from a refined taste, which could not 
acquiesce in anything short of a high degree of excellence. 
I had not an opportunity of being early initiated in the 
principles of colouring : no man, indeed, could teach me. 
If I have never been settled with respect to colouring, let 
it at the same time be remembered that my unsteadiness 
in this respect proceeded from an inordinate de^re to 
possess every kind of excellence that I saw in the works 
of others." Here, from his own lips, we have the key 
to Sir Joshua's personality as an artist. He was always 
gathering both material and ways to use it ; his re- 
markable success, with " a method which too often leads to 
inMpidity," depended on the union, in his own person, of 
a fine taste and untiring mental activity. 

The punting of the Ke;^ marks an epoch in the 
career of Reynolds as well as of modern art. Down to 
1752 it is easy to determine whence the inspiration came 
for everything he did. One picture is a sublimated 
Hudson, another an echo of Rembrandt, a third a Hogarth 
with a difference. The Keppel is new mainly because he 
there draws upon his memories of a different art, but still 
new. He points the energy and aptitudes of the man a." 



well as his head and body. Such a thing had never 
really been done before. Some of the great Italians had, 
no doubt, su^ested the dynamic possibilities of their 
sitters ; Velazquez had now and then gripped the nature 
before him with so nervous a hand as to produce a 
dramatic result ; but before Reynolds punted his Keppel 
no one had succeeded In fusing frank and veracious 
narrative with other artistic qualities in a portr^t It was 
exactly the thing to create n furore, for it was at once novel 
and entirely comprehensible: People could say " How 
new ! " and "Why hasn't it been done before ? " in the 
same breath. Such a success would have been dat^erous, if 
not fatal, to most men. They would have repeated it 
until all merit had been taken out of the original po-- 
ftmnance. With Reynolds it seems only to have had tiie 
tSkct of confirming himself in that deliberate elecddsmt^ 
which he was to make so excellent a use. From the years 
immediately succeeding, date the first pictures in which a 
real personal style of his own appears. And yet these 
very things vary enormously. We can always trace the 
eclectic spirit, the desire to utilise accumulated hints, the 
distrust of inspiration and disbelief in " genius," by whidi 
he is divided from all other painters of his own rank. 

It is impossible to discuss Sir Jo^ua's productions 
during the ten or twelve years which fdlowed his estab- 
lishment in London in anything like detul. It was the 
bu^est time of his life, and sitters came in regiments. I must 
be content to select a few characteristic works, and with 
their help do my best to justify my view of his achievement. 

One of the most obvious and at the same time decisive 
proofe of the deliberate nature of Sir Joshua's conceptions, 
is the contrast, in character, between his male and female 


Earl of Crewb 




portrtita. Onewouldthiak that the first care of a portrait- 
painter would be to adapt his ideas — his ideas of dengn, 
handling and action — to the sex of his tttter, But, as a 
matter of fact, very few punters have done anything of the 
kind, and the best least of all. Titian, Velazquez, Rubens, 
Rembrandt, Hals and Van Dyck all had pretty much the 
same formulae for men and women. As a consequen<x 
no one among them, Tnth the posnble exception of lltian, 
succeeded equally well with both sexes. To explun what 
I mean I may say that, to me at least, Van Dyck's por- 
traits — putting aside the " Comelis Van der Gheest " and 
a few more — seem always feminine, while those of 
Rembrandt, Frans Hals and Velazquez seem no less 
invariably masculine. The hard thinking of Reynolds 
preserved him &om a sinular mistake. His patterns in 
line and colour have sex. During his first period of 
maturity, which I take to be the years between I7J3 and 
1765, he painted some half a dozen magnificent portruts 
wMch illustrate this, as well as other characteristics with 
peculiar force. The earliest of these is the Mrs. Bonfoy, 
at Port Eliot, punted the year after the Keppel. Better 
known is the *' Kitty Fisher," with the doves, of which more 
than one compering example exists. The one we repro- 
duce is at Crewe HalL It is a capital instance of what I 
mean by femininity in conception. Every element carries 
with it the notion of woman. The handling is vaporous, 
nnuous, and long ; the colour opalescent, and without 
masterful contrasts, the design — but that is a matter of 
course — avoids any hint at the quick aggression of the 
male. Still finer, though less " important " and much less 
famous, is the " Lady Tavistock " which used to be at 
Quiddenham and is now in the collection of Mr. Louis 
Raphael. Here Reynolds su^ests with extraordinary 
felidty the atmosphere of tender waiting, of intelligent 



dodlity, wUch is proper to the young vife. Tedimcally , too, 
it is one of the best of his early works, and shows the example 
<^ Rembrandt put to the most agreeable use. But finer still 
than either the "Kitty Fisher " or the "Lady Tavistock '* is 
the great "NellyO'Brien"of 1763, in theWallace collection. 

On the whole, I think this might be accepted as 
Sir Joshua's masteqnece. In other pictures he flies at 
h^her game. In the '* Duchess of Devonshire mth her 
Baby " he punts maternal interest, energy, love, and psdnts 
them with a broader and more audacious brush ; in the 
"I<ady Crosbie" he concentrates a life lustory into a 
movement and wins a miraculous unity ; in the " Laurence 
Sterne," we can see his own curious smile as he plucks out 
the heart of a mystery and sets it before us as a man. But 
two of these three pictures can be critidsed, even from his 
own standpoint. In his determination to be baby-like 
with the little Lady Georgiana he becomes just a thougfit 
clumsy, while the trenchant focussing of the Sterne leaves 
its outskirts rather untiirnished and in»gnificant. The 
" Lady Crosbie," indeed, is no less triumphant than the 
" Nelly O'Brien," but the triumph was easier to bring off. 
Nevertheless, Sir Charles Tennant's picture has a better 
chum, I think, than any other to a place beside the beautifiil 
creation at Hertford House. 

Nelly O'Brien was a light of love, a courtesan in die 
old clas»cal sense, who transferred her affections ^th 
fadtity, and looked to results in purple and fine linen. 
But like other demi^^moHdaims in the days when there really 
was a stratum between the outer world and the common 
ruck of demoiselles de la petite vertu, she was prudent In her 
way, and Reynolds could feel that he had done all the occa^on 
demanded when he had mixed a certiun ur of detachment, 
a touch of the looker-on, into the usual ur of a fine lady. 
And so she sits as we see her, collected, and irith but the 



Wallace Collection 




least posnble hint at curio»ty, in the sunlight, and backed 
by the shade of trees. In colour no Reynolds is more 
delidous. The pale crimson of the quilted skirt, the blue 
of the overdress, the rich black, like the blacks of Gains- 
borough, which veils her shoulders, make up a moving 
harmony. They also betray the influence under which 
the picture was concdved. Allan Ramsay was so incon- 
dderable a painter that his productions have never, so far 
as I know, been reckoned among those by which the art 
of Reynolds was affected. And yet among the Sir Joshuas 
which date &omthe years immediately following Ramsay's 
establishment in London (in 1762), the indications that 
the Scotsman's refined taste, and, espedally, his happy use 
of shy and delicate colours, had their effect, abound. In 
another particular, in the extreme solicitude with which 
the three separate layers of drapery over the girl's lap are 
arranged and painted, the effect of Ramsay's example may 
be traced. It is exactly what Ramsay would have done 
himself, carried to a perfection he could not approach. 
Sir Joshua's first visit to Belgium took place in 1781 ; 
had he gone there twenty years earlier we should certainly 
have suspected him of talring a hint from Rubens also. In 
his diary at Brussels we read : " Mr. van Haveren has an 
admirable portrait by Rubens, known by the name of the 
Chapeau de Faille, from her having on her head a hat and 
feather, airily put on ; it has a wonderfiil transparency of 
colour,asif seen in the open air; it is,uponthe whole,avery 
striking portrait ; but her breasts are as ill drawn as they are 
finely coloured." If these words had been written in 1 763, 
and their writer had afterwards set to work to show how 
he could profit by the beauties and defects of the Chapeau 
de Faille, he could not have carried out his purpose more 
completely than in the Nelly O'Brien. And ttus shows 
the danger of ignoring coincidence. 



Before saying good-bye to this bewitching picture, I 
should like to point out one small detail in which the 
coolness of Sir Joshua's judgment betrays itself. Nelly 
O'Brien has a dog ; so has Mrs. Robinson, in the supwrb 
Gainsbctf-ough which hangs on the same wall. Compire 
the two little beasts and see what a world divides diem. 
Sir Joshua's dog is a fiat ornament with a cutting edge. 
It helps to give an agreeable contour to the light mass in 
the picture and to reduce the quantity of black, but as a 
dc^ it does not exist. It is depressed out of bong in 
obedience to the artist's notions of balaace and accent. 
Gainsborough behaves differently. His interest in the dog, 
there, wudng to be painted, overcomes his prudence. So 
with him the ornament is alive, and by its alertness 
enhances the vivacity of its owner. In the whole range 
of Sr Joshua's art you mil find nothing to compare, so 
hr as technique is concerned, with the vivid and complete 
way in which this white dc^ is relieved agunst the white- 
ness of the woman beside him. In short, the fire of 
Gunsborough drove him to face all the difficulties, while 
the cool blood of Reynolds left him content with an easier 

The male portraits of this time include the " Laurence 
Sterne," the first ** Garrick " and the '* Garrick between 
Tragedy and Comedy." Between the three we get a 
complete illustration of how Reynolds approached his 
portraits of men. In one of the famous Dialc^ues he 
makes Johnson say of Garrick, "No, sir, Garrick left 
nothing to chance. Every gesture, every expres^on of 
countenance and variation of voice, was settled in his 
closet before he set his foot upon the stage." Before such 
a portrut as the " Sterne " our conviction is strong that ^ 
Joshua behaved in the same way himself. We feel that 



the conception is based not so much on the studio 
impKsaon, as upon a mental determination that thus the 
creator of Uncle Toby should be punted, and in no other 
way. No artist has been so indefatigable as Sir Joshua in 
hundng up ugnificant attitudes and gestures when notable 
men proposed that he should paint their pictures. The 
"Ixnd Heathfield," holding the key of the Mediterranean, 
is the typical instance, but it is the exception to find him 
handing cdebrated people down to us without some hint 
of how they won their ikrae. The personality of Sterne, 
then, lies open in Sir Joshua's portnut, and yet it has a 
touch of ardfice. The attitude and the expresdon of the 
face are not in convincing harmony. The man has been 
posed and wonders what the result will be. The Garridc, 
though equally profound, is more spontaneous. In spite 
of his gift of forethought, Reynolds was quicker than 
most men to profit by a happy in^iration or an accidental 
hint The [Oyer's attitude — keen, alert, receptive — 
proclaims itself his own. He has leant forward to talk and 
listen, and the artist has [Kmnced upon the chan<x. The 
fncture marks one extreme of Sir Joshua's habit ; the 
second Garrick — between the tragic seducer and the 
comic — ^the other. Here everything has been carefully 
we^hed and determined, so much so that the drapo-ies, 
the turn of the figures, even the facial expressions, seem 
better suited to sculpture than to the prompt art of the 

So far the dominant note of Reynolds has been variety, 
a variety based partly on the absence of any driving Mas 
within himself, partly on his power to think, and partly 
on his desire to give some moral or intellectual apropos to 
every portrait he undertook. He paints women in one 
spirit, men in another ; and in both makes a point of 
building his conception on something they have been or 




done. He Is experimental, and exploits his predecessors, 
depending at one moment on the chiaroscuro of Rem- 
brandt, as in the " Lady Tavistock," at another on the 
arabesque of — let us say — a Routnliac, as in the ** Garrick 
between Tragedy and Comedy," at yet a third on the 
delicacy of a timid artist like Ramsay, as in the " Nelly 
O'Brien." Throu^ them all runs a connecting thread in 
that love of a fat texture with which the dictum of Gandy 
has inspired him, but otherwise they di^r in a way that 
shows a more undring mental activity than we can point 
to in any of his rivals. As time passed he was seduced 
into increasing the dose of self in what he did, into 
betraying more frankly the native sympathies which 
underlay his ecleclic notions. Down to about 1765, 
however, we are kept in doubt as to which influence will 
finally previul, as to whether he will crystalHse into an 
inheritor from the Dutch, the Venetians, the Bologoese, 
or the Ferrarese. Curiously enough, he did, as a fac^ 
settle down to a manner in which the Venetians and (me 
of the Ferrarese counted for more than any of tiie men to 
whom his gaze was turned during his early maturity. 
Corr^^o, Titian, and Paolo had captured his fancy in 
Italy, but their influence lay comparatively dormant dunog 
the years which saw the building up of his fame Aiter 
about 1774 we shall find them decisive factors in his art 

From 1765 to 1774 was a sort of middle period. It 
was a period of good painting expended too often on 
conceptions which are not essentially pictorial His eye 
still lingers on the Bolognese, who count for much in sudi 
compositions as *'Lady Sarah Bunbury Sacrificing to the 
Graces," " Mrs. Blake as Juno with the Cestus of Venus," 
" Ugolino," " Dr. Beattie," and even the great and femous 
Montgomeries of the National Gallery. In all these we 
find festhetic qualities contrcJled and subdued for the sake 







of others which are not xsthetic. His curious theory of 
drapery in the abstract is allowed to spml the eflect ot 
more than one masterpiece, whUe unity is often sacrificed 
to a supposed necessity for hanging art on a lay p^. The 
drapery idea is particularly unfortunate, for nothing would 
have done more to cure Sir Joshua of the emptiness which 
spoils so many of Ms quaa-historical pictures than atten- 
tion to the sheen of «!k and velvets. Imagine the " Ladies 
decorating a Term of Hymen" conceived in the same 
sfwrit as Paolo's " Family of Darius " ! To my mind the 
best productions as a class of this uneqiial period were such 
things as the group of the two Funes, father and son, at 
Oxford, punted in 1765-66; the Goldsmith of 1770 ; the 
"Mrs.Abington asMissPrue," 1771 ; the HertfbrdHouse 
** Strawberry Girl," piunted in 1 773 ; and the " Baretti," of 
1774. Sir Joshua used to say that no artist, however 
great, had done more than two or three really original 
things, and that among his own works only the " Straw- 
berry Girl " deserved to be so considered. It is difficult 
to be sure of how he meant this to be taken. To us 
onlookers, with another century of experience, he seems to 
have punted many things quite as original, the " Master 
Crewe," for instance, or the many versions of Mrs. 
Atungton. I siispect that what sounds like a critical 
oi»nion was in reality a plun statement of fact, a confession, 
in short, that most of his inventions had been founded on 
some hint from outside. 

During the last fifteen years of his active career Sir 
Joshxia shed his irrelcvancies. Between 1774 and the 
£ulure of his eyes in 1789, he was seldom induced to 
over-load a picture. He seems at last to have became 
thoroughly alive to the fijtility of supporting art, with 
non-artistic props, and from 1774 onwards we rarely find 



a ccHnposition embarrassed by its extrapictorial elements. 
His invention is as active as ever, but it runs on truer 
lines. No doubt he is seldom satisfied, espedally in his 
larger works, to depend solely upon line, colour, and 
illumination. But his sense of what \nU fall property 
into an sesthetic whole has become more unerring, and we 
no longer find schemes dislocated by the introduction of 
tilings which spoil the focus. His inabiUty to manage a 
crowded canvas still per^ts. The " lady Cockbum and 
her children " and the very similar group of Lady Smyth 
and her family, punted in 1774 and 1786 respectively, 
have no esthetic unity at all In the one apparent excep* 
tion, the Marlborough family group of 1778, the arrange- 
ment is so obviously artificial that, in spite of its success, 
it does not shake our opinion.* But when it is a question 
of one or two figures, he wins a unity that had been 
previously beyond his reach, and wins it not seldom by 
the very means which had once been the chief cause of 
fulurc Mrs. Lloyd writing on the tree ; Master Crewe 
swaggering as Bliuff* King Hal ; Litde Montague in the 
snow ; Lady Crosbie stealing off surreptitiously to catch 
a lover, her own or some one eUe's ; the Waldegraves 
mth their tambours ; Geoi^iana Duchess jumping her 
infant ; Lord Heathfield gripiring the key to the Me(£- 
terranean ; John Hunter meditating among his bones ; 
Mrs. Abington thrusting out her impudent museau from 
behind the curtun; all these are examples of inddents 

* It is a little cnrioui that nearly twenty yean earlier R^nolds tad 
elaboratdy jeered at the veiy principle he here pnt> into action. In 
me of hii IMtrt (29 September, 1759), lie makes his " cheap connoitaent " 
*Tc1i^im^ " What a pity it it that Rafiaelle was not acquainted vrith the 
pyramidal principle 1 he wonld then have contrived the figures in the 
middle to hare been on higher gionnd, or the figures at the cxtiemitiei 
stooping or lying ; which wonld not only have formed the group into 
the shape (rf a pyiamid, bat likewise contrasted the standing fignics." 



growing on the theme, instead of being tied up with it in 
a s(xt of bundle. I might also refer to the countless 
*' Musdpulas," "Felinas," " Robinettas," Sec, &c., as 
examples of the same felicity, but in spite of their 
reputation few of these pictures deserye a place among 
Sir Jo^ua's best works. As a rule they are ill drawn, 
poor in colour, and none too happy in texture. There 
are exceptions, of course. The " Age of Innocence," in 
the National Gallery, is not only a delightful image, it is 
perhaps the happiest of all Sir Joshua's endeavours to get a 
sutiace " like cream or cheese." But unlike most artists 
Reynolds does not seem to have done his best when he 
worked * for fun.' " Penelope Boothby," " Smplicity " 
(Offy Gwatkin the second), *' Miss Crewe," '* Princess 
Sophia Matilda," have a charm, both of thought and 
execution, beyond anything we find in the mementos of 
his unbespoken hours. 

Speaking generally. Sir Joshua made the best use of lus 
powers af^er he had passed hxs fiftieth year. Before 1774 
he &iled oftener than he succeeded, by which I mean that 
the majority of lus works hint rather at unfulfilled than at 
fulfilled intentions. Now and again he produced a mag- 
nificent thing like the *• Nelly O'Brien," but tm the whole 
we feel he had not settled down into a secure conviction 
as to what he could and could not do. He was still ex- 
perimental ; he was still the prey of any notion thrown at 
him by a sympathetic rival or friend^ he was still a sceptic, 
or rather a poutive and militant disbeliever in the existence 
within himself or any one else of originating genius, re- 
qturing nothing but encouragement to throw off the 
flowers of art. His Discourses show us how his mind 
worked. He thought the way to produce an artistic 
thing was to accumulate materials from men who had gone 
through the same process before, and to call in taste to 



break them to a new serrice. like other theorisers, before 
and unce, he committed himself to his theories before he 
inem. Certain it is that as life advanced he grew less apt 
to corroborate his own ideas with a thought from Venice, 
Bologna, or Amsterdam. Only once or twice in his 
whole career did he ptunt a picture in which no trace of 
any influence outude himself could be recogmsed, but in 
his final and gresUxst penod the imported elements are 
completely digested. Another characteristic of these later 
years is the disappearance of vacillation. His work is still 
various, but its variety no longer su^ests surrender. He 
leaves off ringing the changes on Rembrandt, Corr^^o, 
Titian, Salviati and Salvator. When he borrows, it is to 
enrich his vocdiulary. He takes what he wants and leaves 
the rest, mingling on a single canvas some echo of Rem- 
brandt's force with much of Corr^gio's grace and Titian's 
splendour. The result is a new homogendty. His 
eclecticism has at last land^ him in a style, and from 1 774 
to the end of his life the most malignant of his critics had 
to confess that he justified lus use of the net. 

So ^ I have SEud little on that ude of Sir Joshua's art 
which is, after all, the cause of his great popularity. His 
fame, at least in this country, depends not so much on the 
success with which he unites the sensuous qualities of the 
south irith the more intellectual predilections of the north, 
as upon his skill in suggesting the energy of English men 
and in recording the beauty of English women and 
children. As a painter of masculine personalities he has, I 
think, no rival. The men of Gainsborough, subtle as 
they are and full of latent possibilities, have less vitality, 
Icsspromiseofeffidency, than those of Reynolds. You will 
search in vun among them for a parallel to the Lord Heath- 
field, or the many Garricks, or the Baretti, or the portrait 
which Johnson vilified as " Blinking Sam," or the Sterne, or 


Marijuess of Lansdowne, K.G. 




the Goldsmith, or the two Paines at Oxford. In all these 
and a host of others Sir Joshua was not content to paint 
his sitter in repose, to [Mint him when the powers which had 
made him famous were quiescent, and had to be cUvined. 
He chose the less simple task of putting the dots on the 
i's, and leaving nothing to chance. If the names of all his 
utters had been lost, and we had inherited no clues to 
their identitj- beyond those given by his brush, we should 
scarcely have been in a worse poudon than we are now. 
We could have identified all the celebrities, and that not 
by matters implying neither skill nor insight, but by the 
vigour with which individual character is shown in acdon. 
Much of this depends, of course, upon the mere irill to 
show it. No special esthetic gift is required to hit upon 
such ideas as those by which Heathfield, and Johnson, and 
Baretti, could be readily picked out of the regiment of Sir 
Joshua's clients. If Gainsborough, or RaelMirn, or even 
Lawrence, had been driven to find an apposite — Reynolds 
would have called it an historical — conception for every 
man of parts among their ntters^ they might have been 
equally successful. But Reynolds alone &ced the problem ; 
he not only faced it, he bad set it too, and the success with 
which he found the solution is one of his legitimate tiUes 

As for women and children, that is another afiair. To 
me it seems imposnble to agree with those who see in 
Reynolds the supreme punter of female charm and of the 
fresh innocence of childhood. In both, to my mind, Gains- 
borough is by far the greater artist His sympathy with 
children and women was deeper and more real than that 
of Reynolds. His finest portruts, the " Morning Walk," 
for instance, or the " Mrs. Sheridan," show an intimacy 
of perception, a power to build up from ^thin, which is 
quite beyond his rival. And so with children. Sir 





Joshua was an amused observer of their ways. Their 
grace of attitude and spontaneity of movement, the curious 
innocence of their faces a[^iealed to his judgment as de- 
lightfid and TalwU)le material. But he did not sfrnpathiae 
with them. He never realised that a child, to itself, is 
just as much a [x-oduct of experience as a man of fifty. 
His pmnt of view was essentially external. He painted a 
little boy or girl as he would a kitten, maldng them parts 
cS a lovely scheme, and often suggesting, with curious 
ftlicity, thdr condition as germs of men and women. 
Gainsborough's children, on die other hand, are real 
children. They are not merely amusing animals, waiting 
to grow up ; they are bundles of experience of a kind, 
and show their naive sati^action with things in general 
just like dirir elders. Sit Joshua was wgt. to make cUIp 
dren lode like imps frcMn a difierent world. Compare his 
" Miss Bowles," for instance, at the Wallace Gallery, with 
the ** Miss Haverfield " of Gunsborough, which hangs a 
few feet away. The latter is a real child, with the pride 
of her eight or ten years showing through the blank page 
of her fiiture. Beude her the " Miss Bowles *' seems a 
changeling, and her laugh the glee of a creature that had 
never seen a dog before. You can see that Gainsborough 
could think like a child, could feel its little triumphs, its 
ahyness, the tragic intendty of its moods. Whereas Sir 
Joshua is walking round it, with his quizzing g^aas, ob- 
serving its outside. 

And as Sir Joshua punted children, so he painted 
women. He observed them keenly, but too judicially, 
•torit^ up in his -vioaAtrfvX memory the carriage of thrir 
heads, the play of their limbs, even the treachery of thdr 
sudden looks. He translated their obrious qualities into 
terms of tine and colour with consummate success, finding 
00 more difficulty in the dignity of a Caroline Mari- 



Lnrd Ctlrysjarl 






facrongfa, or the Artnkness of a Georgiana Spencer, or the 
irrespoimHlity of a Diana Cro^e, dun in the vivadty oi 
an Abington, or the huiguor and inabilitjr to say No oi a 
Fidier or a Baddeley. He even found a pictorial equiva- 
lent for the venaUty of a Ndly O'Brien. But cS tiw 
deeper viiion which comes of sympathy, he had little more 
than a trace. It would be waste of time to look throu^ 
his works for something to s^ bende his rival's " Mrs. 
Hallett," the young bnde taking her first walk with her 
husband after she had learnt the meamng of " wifeii" or 
bende the " Mrs. Sheridan," with twenty years of joy and 
sorrow in her itct. With the mere beauty of woman he 
was at home, like so many other English painters. He 
knew exactly how to select, how to insist on this and glide 
gently over that, until he had transferred to his canvas the 
most i^vourable impresucm his sitter was able to give. 
There, however, his glory is part of his birthright as an 
English painter, and has to be shared mth others both of 
his own time and ours. 

Unforttmately, English women who have distingiushed 
themselves by their mental gifts have not often found their 
1* ay into the studios of our great painters. As a nile, I sup- 
pose, their purses have been too shallow, and the notion of 
punting them for love has not occurred to artists over- 
whelmed with commissions. It is a pity. It would have 
been agreeable to point to portr^ts of Fanny Bumey, Jane 
Austen, Mary Somerville, Mary Anne Evans, Elizabeth 
Browning, and the Brontis, in the collection of National 
portnuts, with such names as Reynolds, Lawrence, and 
Millais beneath them. With such sitters, Reynolds might 
have left us something to hang be»de the " Heathfield " 
and the Streatham "Johnson." 

The drawings left by Sir Joshua are few in number, and 



of no great excellence. The7 are essentially memoranda ; 
his drawing was oeaily all done with the brush, and has 
disappeared under subsequent wcH'k. In the few cases in 
which he had recoune to a lead pencil w a pen, it was prob- 
ably to preserve some idea that occurred to him when he 
was away from his stucUo. A few chalk portnuts are sup- 
posed to be in existence, but in most cases thdr authen- 
tidty is doubtful. He nerer went through that drudgery 
of it« schools which gives most painters a &cility with the 
point they never lose ; and so in his legacy to the world 
we find nothing to correspond with the treasiuv of beau- 
tiful drawings left by his rival, Gunsborough. 




^£ fame of Sir Joshua's IXscourses is at 

I first nght a little difficult to understand. 

I For a hundred years it has been the 
fashion to treat them as models of Utera- 

I ture and monuments of critical profundity. 

' Thdr style has been thought so much 
too good for their putative author, that the great shades 
of Burke and Johnson have been descried at Sir Joshua's 
elbow, controlling his expression and even suggesting his 
ideas. Agun, their reasoning on the foundations of art 
has been so far accepted by those who ought to know^ 
that they have been put, as a text-book, into the hands of 
some twenty generations of students. And yet Sot 
Joshiu's style is good only through its uncerity ; and his 
teaching sound only if meant to be superficial 

First of all, however, as little or nothing has been 
said about the IXscourses in previous chapters, it may be 
as well to sketch thdr history. They are usually num- 
bered from one to fifteen, and printed as if they were all 
of the same class, addressed to one purpose, and delivered 
on nmilar occasions. As a fact, however, two out of the 
fifteen are not " IKscourses " at all. The earliest in date 
is an address delivered to the members and prospective 
students immediately after the Academy was foimded, and 



u directed to tarning dieir minds into the right channel so 
far IS that institudon was concerned. The ninth is a short 
apeech, spoken on the occasion of the move from Pall 
Mall to Somerset House. The remuning thirteen form 
the real sequence of IXscourses. The first four were 
delivered annually at the cUstribution of prizes, the re- 
maining nine biennially, on those tenths of December at 
which gold medals were awarded. I have called them a 
sequence, and so, in a sense, they are. But the develc^ 
ment of the President's ideas is often erratic, and in one, 
the penultimate, Discourse, he divagates into that character 
of Gunsborough which is, perhaps, the most interesting 
passage in the whole of his writings. The first ten Dis- 
courses were printed by Reynolds himself, in 1778, with a 
dedication to the King. The completed series was pub- 
lished in 1797, five years after his death, by Edmund 
Malone, his chief executor. 

True to its belief that no man can do more tiian one 
thing well, the English public began, soon after it had the 
first ten Discourses at its mercy, to be sceptical as to their 
origin. At first it fathered them on Johnson. The story 
is well known, of how the Doctor, when tamd -with their 
authorship, replied, " Sir, Reynolds would as soon require 
iat to punt for lum as to write for Mm." After Johnson's 
deadi, a new * ghost* had to be found, and Burke was 
pitched upon. This rumour Malone thought it worth 
while to disprove.* In a note to his short memoir of Sir 

* The co^ of Mdone'i tecond edition (1798) which belonged to 
Williun Blake ii in the British Museum. It contains a good ma!i7 
amnsing and ihrewd obsemtioni beyond those quoted hy B4r. Gowe in 
hii edition of the DiKonnei (See abo Oikhiist'i " Blake"). Blab has 
written on the title-page "TluiMan was Hired toD^rew Art; This 
is the Opinion of VfiH Bkke : my Froofi of this Opinion are given in the 
following notes." Among the 'proofs' are the words " Dinmd {tie) 
tod,'* written caiefoUy in ink beside Sir Joshua's nseition thn ^ 



Nauonal Gallekv 




Joshua, he declares that among his late friend's papers he 
had found no kind of sign that any one had ever written 
any part of the IHscourses except R^nolds himself. 
Naturally, Sir Joshiia, livmg among wits and writers, 
consulted them now and then on ptnnts of style and 
arrangement. But that the final form, to say nothing of 
the matter, of his writings was not his own, deserres no 
sort of credence. 

To us who have the advantage of a distant perspective, 
it seems extraordinary that any one should ascribe the 
eminently human, but somewhat invertebrate periods of 
Sir Joshua first to Johnson and afterwards to Burfce. As 
a writer Reynolds was, of course, an amateur. He had 
never been drilled in the use of language, or compelled to 
notice how the pactised writer avoids those involutions 
and cacophonies which spring from the unguarded expres- 
saoa of complex ideas. He piles relative on relative and 
partiaple on participle, until his sentences become so long 
drawn out that we have to read them twice to grasp th«r 
meaning. As interpreted by a good speaker, they would, 
no doubt, be clear enough. Vocal modulations would 
bring out the sense. But Reynolds, we are told, had a 
very bad delivery, and so it is not surpriung that his 
colleagues paid him the compliment of a request to print 
his sermons I Let us take a few sentences at random. 
Here is the first my eye falls upon as I open Malone's 
edition of the piunter's writings : — 

"And ju in the conception of thii ideal picture, the mind doei lun 

power of giving gnmdenr to a work of art coma not from genint but 
fioni niles ! To Malone's note on the Burke rumour, Blake appendi fail 
own: "The contradictioni in RejTX)td('s Ditcoonei are itrong pre- 
anmptioai that the^ are the woA of MTcral handi. But thii i) no |noof 
that Reynold* did not write them. The man, either Painter or Philo- 
•opher, who leami or acqniret all he knowi from othen mnit be full of 




enter into the minute pecnliaiidei of the ditn, fnminre, or icene of 
action ; to when the painter comei to repreaent it, he cxmtiivea thoie 
little nrf'f^HTy concomiunt circiunitancet in inch a manner that thcr 
ihall itrike the ipectator no more than they did himiclf in hi* fint 
conception of the itocy." 

A little further on : — 

" The principle* by which each i> attained «ie to contrary to caih 
other, that they teem, in my opinion, incompatible, and aa impoanble to 
ezi*t together, a* that in the mind the moat inblime idea* and the k»re*t 
•eutulitj (hould at the same time be united." * 

And again : — 

" Theie are the penont who may be (aid to have exhatuted all the 
powen of florid eloquence, to debauch the yoaug and inexperienced, 
and hare, withont donbt, been the caiue of turning ofi the attention of 
the conncn(*enr and of the patron of art^ u well at that of the painter, 
from tho*e higher excellence* of which the art it capable, and which 
ought to be required in every coniiderable production." t 

Such sentences are without any latsissant quality. Our 
attention has to be applied to them ; they do not command 
it. On the other I»nd, they have a sort of intimate 
humanity which prevents the application from being irk- 
some. Of Burke and Johnson the converse may ^tirly be 
sud. In spite of their brilliant technique, they are diffi- 
cult to read. Their technical ingenuity and their humanity 
are in proportions inverse to those of Reynolds. Take 
this paragraph from Burke : — 

" At Ttrioui period* we have had tyranny in thit country, more than 
enough. We have had rebellion* with more or leu juatification. Some 
of our king* have made adnlteroni connection* abroad, and trucked awiq', 

* Thii opinion il characteriitic of Reynold*. Many inftancet of 
*nch a combination could eatily be given, but ai, <»i hi* piemiiet, it wat 
inconceiTable, he denied it* exittence. 

t FmrA DiuMru, Makme** edition (1798). vol. i., pp. 81, 95, and 



for focdgs ff^ the interent and gloiy of thdr crown. But befote 
thii time, our libert7 luu nerer been corrnpud. I mean that it bai 
nerer been debauched from iti domeatic relationt. To thil time it haa 
been English Liberty and Englith Libera only — our love of Libcrt7, 
and onr love of onr countiy, were not diitinct thing* ; " * 

or this from Johnson :— 

" In this ditaitroni year (l/so) of national infatuation, when mon 
richei than Pern can boatt weie expected from the South S«a, when the 
contagion of araricc painted every "i''"^, and even poeti panted after 
wealth. Pope waa teized with the nnivenal patiion, and ventured lome 
of hit money." t 

No ii^enuity could set such paragraphs as these in Sir 
Joshua's prose inthout discovery. They are terse and 
well made, and betray familiarity with the rewurces, not 
to say the tricks^ of the stylist. They are, in short, the 
product of minds very different, both in native quality and 
in cultivation, from the mind of Reynolds. The point is 
not worth elaborating further, perhaps, for I do not sup- 
pose that, in these days^ any one would attempt to dispute 
Sr Joshua's paternity of his literary children. About it, 
however, hangs another consideration which has its interest. 
Beside Burke and Johnson, Reynolds was a bungling 
writer, taldng a long time to say what he had to say, and 
showing almost complete ignorance of those contrivances 
by which the cunning scribe prevents the reader from 
knowing he is bored. And yet, a century and a quarter 
old as it is, his prose is strangely fresh. Its eauness is by 
no means inherent in the subject of which it treats, for 
even the art critic does not ding, voraciously, to a page 
of art criticism 1 To put it frankly, Reynolds is neither 
profound in induction, nor l<^cal in deduction, nor dear 

' X^^ i*Mr«, Letter rV. 

t Lifi ^ Pifi : Matthew Anu^'i edititw of die St» CkUf lavtSy 






in expKsritm, uid yet his Discounes have vitality, and 
successive genetadons of students have read them with 
interest, and intb a pleasant sense that a real personality 
strove for expression in their unconvindng periods. Aa a 
rule an Englishman of good education takes more interest 
in poetry, and vastly more interest in politics, than he 
does in art. And yet I feel [nctty sure that m(M« readers 
woriE their way throi^h the Discourses than through the 
best works of wther Johnson or Burke.* Why is this ? 
I believe it to d^nd on eicactly the same instinct as that 
which makes us prefer the fifbenth century to the uxteenth 
in Italian pointing. 

In reading Sir Joshua, we feel that he is inade his 
Subject, gro[»ng his way out. His guesses are often 
unhappy, and lead him to concIu»ons which are little else 
than absurd. But there he is, nevertheless, inside, and 
doing his best to understand his milieu, and to get a right 
conception of the whole matter. His methods of expres- 
uon are imperfect, and leave us mth the idea that bis con- 
ceptions are too complicated to be rendered in such w(»^ 
as he can command. He who has more imagination than 
expressive power is more interestit^ to his fellow creatures 
than one in whom the proportions are reversed. His 
strinng is a guarantee that he has done his best, and leaves 
us with a sense of something to be filled In by ourselves. 
With writers like Burke and Johnson it is diflferent. 
Thdr methods are apt to be more complete, as methods, 
than their ideas are, as ideas. So that instead of being 
inude thdr subjects, they are outside, or even detached 

* If the re*dei donbt thU, let him go to the Reading Room fA the 
Britiih Mojeam, and tend for copiei of the Ditconnet, of the Lives of 
the Poeti, ind the pamphlet of Bnike he thiaki the leutfixgDtteii. He 
will find the Rexnoldi thumbed neulj to rain, md the othen » freth 
u when the^ were pabtithcd. 








•nd a tittle contemptuous. The kernel of human interest 
seems to have shrunk away and to be rattling, dry and 
sapless, within the fine externals of their style. Perfect 
art, no doubt, demands that imagination and expression 
shall each rise to the same level, and that style and thought 
shall be so nearly one that we shall find it difficult to 
determine where the one leaves off and the other begins. 
This, however, is a consummation not often reached, and 
our choice lies, as a rule, between extreme uncerity with 
mtxc or less halting expression, on the one hand, and less 
nncerity with greater fluency, on the other. Sir Joshua's 
Discourses belong to the former class. 

Before going on to speak of Sir Joshua's esthetic 
theories, I must say something about those other writings 
in which more literary skill is to be found than in the 
Discourses. I mean the two famous Dialogues. The 
short one, especially, in which Sir Joshua attempts to 
upheld his own and Garrick's importance agunst the 
Doctor, is a little masterpiece— dramatic, full of character, 
and light in touch. The second is nearly as well done, 
and more pr^nant. The two endings show that Reynolds 
had not been so ^thful to Covent Garden and Drury 
Lane for nothing. The first dial<^;ue is cut off sharply, 
and yet exactly in the right place, by the angry Johnson ; 
to the second he provided a peroration so vigorous that it 
makes an excellent " curtain " for both. 

The rest of Sir Joshua's writings, whether published or 
not, are greatly inferior. The character of Johnson is 
only a rough draft ; the three " Idlers " are happy nather 
in form nor substance ; wlule the '* Journal of his Tour in 
tite Netherlands" is only a journal and his notes to 
Du Fresnoy only notes. As a writer his reputation 
depends on the fifteen Discourses and the two Dia- 
li^ucs. The superiority of the latter suggests that 



be might, had he tried, have made a reputadon as a 

Turning to his ideas about art, the first thing to strike 
us is the remarkable contradiction between his expressed 
opinions and his own [»wtice. The whole drift of his 
Discourses is towards the promotion of those forms of art 
which spring from and appeal directljr and soldjr to the 
reason, over those which excite emotion by the expression 
of more or less sensuous ideas. I do not think it is 
putting the matter unfairly to say that Reynolds, the 
theorist, did all he could to promote the belief that fine 
art is a question of teaching and a good memory, like 
filing ; while Reynolds, the punter, spent his energies 
in showing that all risks may be run for the sake of 
clothing a [uctorial idea in a gorgeous envelope. You 
may say that these two courses are not ioconmstent, and 
that the one may be engrafted on the other. No doubt 
that is true. It is even true that, in practice. Sir Joshua 
did attempt to combine the qualities he praised with those 
he derided, but he did so in such a fashion that if we 
judged him from his works alone, we should beheve his 
table of precedence to be the reverse of what he himself 
asserted. Be Venetian, if you like, but at all events draw 
correctly, keep ideal forms of men, women, draperies, &c., 
before your minds ; generalise, and do not be seduced into 
any kind of particularity ; beware of nature, she is only 
to be safely looked at through the eyes of others ; do not 
imagine you can invent, the modem substitute is imitation, 
and the only invention now posuble is the making of some 
infiniteumal addition to previous inventions. That is a 
£ur e[Htome of lus advice to students, but he reversed it 
in practice. He never entirely forgot his theories about 
invention, natural acddents, draperies in the abstract, and 



$o on, but he postponed them all to the winning of 
exactly those qualities of individual vision and Venetian 
richness against which he warned his juniors. It may seem 
childish, perhaps, to give instances, but one occurs to me 
which illustrates in a curious way his readiness to practise 
one thing and preach another. In that strange fourth 
Discourse, which brings out the oppontion between 
dghteenth and nineteenth century ideas in such a startling 
fashion, he says : " To give a general ur of grandeur at 
first view, all trifling or artful play of little lights, or an 
attention to a variety of tints, is to be avoided; a quiet- 
ness and simplicity must reign over the whole work ; to 
which a breadth of uniform and umple cdour will very 
much contribute." Now at the very time when he was 
thus advising his young men, he was probably painting 
the " Mrs. Carnac " of the Wallace Gallery. The date of 
this [Hcture is not certunly known, as no mention of it 
occurs in the pocket-books or ledgers. By its style, how- 
ever, it belongs to the seventies, and the fourth Discourse 
was delivered in 1771. It is perhaps the most audacious 
example we can find in the whole history of art of the use 
of a trifling play of little lights ; for the lady's white 
dress, as she advances through a wood, is covered with the 
pattern made by the shadows of the leaves playing over- 
head in the sunlight. He often repeated this ei^ct, which 
is about as strongly opposed to the whole spirit of his 
teaching as anything could be. And yet the " Mrs. 
Carnac " is one of his great efforts, and clearly aims at 
both grandeur of presence and breadth of effisct 

In spite of his independence, Reynold* was not an 
wiginal thinker. He accepted the ideas of his time as the 
foundation for his own reasoning, and seems to have felt 
no impulse to go behind, and test their value for himself. 
It is imposnble to believe that the painter of the " Nelly 



O'Briui," and the " Lord Heathfield " could hare fdt any 
uncere emotion before the dry melodrama of Salvator 
Rosa or the ct^ fiidlity of Le Sueur. But ioitead of con- 
fessing his indi&rence, he wasted his mental energies in 
searching after ** rules " by which thar hold on fashion and 
pretence to set a standard might be confirmed. If hefaad 
b^un by telling the students that the essential part of ait 
was neither to be learnt nor taught, and that all the 
academy could do was to enaUe young men to bec(Hne 
such ousters of their tools that those bom to art could 
step into viuble possession of thdr birthright, he would 
have done sometlung to put his theories in thdr pn^wr 

The truth is that Sir Joshua, inth all his study and 
introspection, never hit upon a real theory of art at lU. 
His mind took too narrow a iwctp. The notion of 
cc41ating one art with another occurred to lum but <uice, 
and then he made a most unhappy use of it. It never 
struck him that a theory of art which might fit a picture 
but would be absurd if ^plied to a teapot could not be a 
universal theory. He never suspected that beneath die 
whole body of artistic things which man had created Jay a 
deep^ solid, and universal foundation on which the beaitty 
of them all was built. He examined phenomena, and 
when he had collected a certain number d these from 
famous wcM'ks of art, he concluded they were the causes of 
excdlence. Raf&elle was great, Rafikelle painted dn^xxies 
in the abstract, not silks and velvets, ergOj abstract draperies 
are the cause of greatness. In all seriousness that is too 
often the fosluon of Sir Joshua's reasoning. His obiective 
was false and so, of course, was his my of stepping towards 
it. His um was not to help the young men who hung 
upon his words in makii^ the most of any artistic 


The Lokd Iveauii, K.P. 



ikculties with wUcfa niture had endowed them, but to teach 
them how to produce imitations of the Camcci, at least, if 
they could not manage Raffaelle and Michelangelo. So 
hr does he sometimes go in this direction that one is almost 
tempted to believe his teaching insincere, to suspect that he 
was speaking agunst his convictions, under the belief that 
it was bett^ for students to believe that hard work 
could do everything, than to know the artist is not school- 
made, but concaved in his mother's womb. 

I alluded just now to the one attempt made by Sr 
Joshua to carry his theories beyond the art of painting. 
This was in that Tenth Discourse, in which he spoke of 
sculpture. A more convincing [Mw>f of his inability to 
step outude the area of tus own experience, could scarcely 
be given. He makes no real attempt to determine the 
natural aesthetic boundaries which omtrol the modeller. 
He takes them as already decided by the practice of the 
ancients and of such modems as he chooses to adnut into 
their company. "Sculpture has but one style," be 
declares, and therefore " can only to one style of Painting 
have any relation." So far as this was true, and even a 
century ago it was* but a partial truth, it was due to the 
survival of so many masterpieces of ancient art. With 
these to inutate, men were slow to expl(He new paths for 
themselves. Knee the days of Reynolds they have done 
so, vnth splendid results ; and it is not, perhaps, unreason- 
able to think that an artist of his distinction ought to have 
foreseen the fea»bility of such a new departure. He was 
blinded, however, by his system. He tested art, not by 
its own immutable conditions, but by the fcM^s into which 
accident had led it All his theoriung rests on the assump- 
tion that man had nothing more to <£scover, no new 
thoughts to express, no changed forms of civilisation to 
illustrate, no new beliefs to inust upon. He Ukes one 



form of the wwld's art wealth as it existed in lus own day, 
and, instead of attempting to discover the vitaUnng piia- 
dple which ran through it all and brought it into Une with 
uster forms, marshals its mere external phenomena Into 
rules to control the new generation, and prevent any future 
i«petition of such free developments as those which make 
the glory of Greece and Italy. 

The experience of a century has refuted Reynolds as a 
teacher, although as a painter it has set him on a higher 
pinnacle than ever. How came it that a man who could 
leave us so many great and delightful pages of art was so 
unsattsfitctory as a theorist, and so discouraging to those 
who hold that the forms of art are capable of such cxpsm.- 
sion that all human emotions and aspirations can be 
expressed with thnr help P The contradiction is strange 
but it most have its orig^ in some deep-seated [Mopensity 
of human nature, for it is common to nearly all artists, 
from Leonardo downwards, who have played with the pen. 
The explanation seems to be that when an artist seta out to 
reason upon his art, he instinctively turns for guidanc^ 
those features and qualities in his own perfcx-mance which 
have cost him thought.. He passes over, as impossible to 
discuss, those selections and dedsions which were made in 
obedience to predilection, which were governed by die 
desire to convey his own personal emotions to the people 
about Mm. Th^ had required no labour ; he had felt, 
not reasoned out, thnr necesnty. That dednons so 
obvious could be the most important factors in his success 
he would be slow to belteve, and slower still to assert. . For 
by their very nature they admitted of no justification in 
words, and of little explanation. Sjet us take a concrete 
instance from the works of Reynolds himself. Let us 
suppose that he is trying to so explun the genem of the 
Ladies decorating a term of Hymen, that a class of students 






might be enabled to do somethit^ of the sort themselves. 
Judging from his own Discourses, he would slur over or 
ignore the fine pattern, the sonorous tone, the quick answer 
of the brush to the painter's mood, on which its harmony 
and iHvadty depend. He would draw their attention to 
the way in which he had contrived that the dark portions 
should be to the light as three to one, that the dark figure 
should be relieved on the light part of the background and 
yet should be light at the top to prevent its being too much 
of a silhouette. He would point out that the draperies 
are by no means clothes, that the vase in the corner is 
n«ther copper, brass, nor gold, but simply metal ; that the 
term of Hymen is neither of stone nor marble, but a kind 
of hint at both. In short, he would insist upon the results 
of his thinking, and leave those of his feeling — yet art 
should be "»mple, sensuous and passionate" — ^totake care 
of themselves. I hope all this does not strike the reader 
as flippant, for it is honestly based on Sir Joshua's own 
reasoning about the great style. 

The inclination to dwdl overmuch on those constituents 
of art which can be translated into words, Reynolds had 
in common with nearly all painters who have reasoned on 
their work at all. Artists who confess, like MUIais, that 
punt is paint and talking talk, and that the one cannot be 
expressed in terms of the other, are strangely rare. At 
any rate Sir Joshua was not one of them. His native bent 
on all occasions was towards antecedent thinking, and what 
he had thought out he could, of course, explain. He took, 
a curious pleasure in reducing ideas to theories. He liked 
to lay out his course, to know well in advance what he was 
going to do, and why. The majority of artists discover 
such explanations only when asked for them ; but we feel 
that Sir Joshua was quite capable of putting aside an {es- 
thetic inspiration if he could not find its verbal equivalent. 
sis ' 







Abihcton, Mn., 90, itS, i», 30(, 

Abingl»», Portrait of Mrs., ao6, 91, 

97 ; as " Miss HoyiUn," Mrs., 

Ill ; OS "Miss Prut," Mrs., 305 ; 

as RoxalaHa, Mrs., 161, l6a 

Aoademisians gathartd about Hit 

Model (ZoSuiy), 98 
Acadoniies, French and English, 

compared, 77 
Academies of Art, their troe funo- 

tiona, 76. 77 
Academy, Royal, 3;, Si, 18], 183; 
Dioaer, 71. 73, 158, 166; Ex- 
hibitioos, 118, i33, 141, 146, 147, 
149. IS4. "57. 161, i6s, 174, 176. 
177, 179 ; First Exhibition of, 7S ; 
Fouadation of Royal, 38, jj, 59- 
77, 3 1 3 ; iU fimcttons and achieve- 
ments, jo; projected, 57; Rey- 
nolds resigns Presidency of Royal, 

Adam and Evt, 91 

A ge of Innocenci, The, ill 

Aix-la-Chapelle. Reynolds at, 151 

Algiers, Keppd and Reynolds at, 
15. '7 

Almack's, 78 

Al thorp, 119 

AUhorp, Portrait of Lady, IS4 

AUkorp, Portrait of Lord, I19 

American War, iiS, 135 

Aneedotes of Sir Joshua Reynotds, 
Mason's, 47 

Amsterdam, Reynolds at, iji 

Attgtt'i Htads, 176 and note 

Atuntticiation {Cipriani), 79 

Antwerp, Reyncdds at, tsi 

ArcEZo, Reynolds at, 34, 3^ 

Armstrong, Dr., 141 

Amotfiitt Group, Van Eyck's. 43 

Artists' Qnb, 15 j 

Arundel Street, Strand, 60 

Assisi, Reynolds at, 34 

AsUey. J., S4 

Austen, Jane, 311 

AyUsfoti, Porlraa of Lady, 154 
gsford. Lord, i3i, tSi 
niiuter, Reynolds visits. So 

Babts in llu Wood, Tht, 85 

Bacon, John, 41, 87 

Baddeley. Mrs., 90, 98. 187, an 

Baddelry, Portrait of, Mrs., 97 

Baker, Dr.. 80 

Baker, Rev. Thomas, a 

Baker, Theophila, I 

BaJdarin, Portrait of Mrs. {Th* Fait 

Creek), 153 
Bampfylde, Mrs., lap 
Batnpfylde, PortriUt of Lady, laj 
Banks, Sir J., lai 
Baretti, 6z, 8t-iio 
BaretU, Portrait of, 116, ao8, 309 
Barnard, Dr., Dean of Derrjr, 115, 


Baroccio, ao, aj 
Barrett, George, 64 note 
Bany, 41, Si, 91, 15S, iSti, ISS 
Barry, letter to, 83. S3, 84 
Bartolozzi, Francesco, 64 not*, 

74 note, 90 
Barton House, 79 note 
Bassanc, 30 
Bastards, the. So 
Beattie, Dr., on the art of Reynolds, 

Btattit, Portrait of Dr., 100, 109, 
no, 113, 116. 304 

Beattie. Mrs., no 

Beauclerc, Langton, lai 

Btauclere, Portrait of Miss, M Cim. 

Beauclerc, Tophani, 97, 144 ] Joins 
Literary Club, 57 

Btaufoy, Portrait of Mrs. (Gains- 
borough), 140 

BtaumonI, Portrait of Lady, 146 

Beaumont, Lord, 139 

Btaumont, Portrait of Sir Gtorgt, 

and William Russia, and 1 
Vtrnon, portrait group, 133 

Beggar Boy and His Sisttr, 116 

Beit. Mr. Alfred, 115 

Btltamont, Portrait of Lord. II6 




BettamonI, Portraitt of Lord and 

Lady, 114, and note 
BelLiiu, Giovanni, 30 
Belvoir, 141 note, 144 
Bergamo, 3) 
BtrHe, PorlraU of Cot.. 
BlMSinxton. Lord, im Gardiner. 

Hr. Lnfc^ 101 and note, 113 
Bidcentafie, Isaac, 81 
Bidelord, 6 
Bigg, R. A., 114 
Bingjlam, PorlraU of Miu, 174 
Btaka, Mn.. with (b Ceitut 0/ 

Vemu, 304 
Blake, ^Mlliam, on ReTnolde' Dia- 

coonea, a 14 note 
BlakeDey, General, 16 
Blenlieim, 1351 Reynoldi visits, 109 
Blua Boy, Tkt (GunsboronghJ. 85 
Bologna, Rnmolda at, 33 
BologncM Sidiool, Rejwilda' admin- 

tion for, 30 
Bonfoy. Porfroil of Mrs.. 199 
Bonomi, architect, iSi, 1S3 
Boothby, Misi P&H^opt, 307 
Boscawen, Uia., isi 
BoBwell, 81, 106, iiS, 119. 131, 

<3>. 'S3. '?a. t?3. i83;qnot«l, 

SI, S», 130. ija. '44. iSj 
Botwell, Portrait of, 176 
BourJu. Portrait of Dr., ArcMitkop 
t of Tuam, 161, ifis 
Bottetrie, Mrs., and Child, Sj 
Bomierit, Mrs., and Urt. Crmat, 79, 

Bowhs, Miss, iii,3io 
Bowood, 79 note 
Boy playing Criektt (F. CotM), 79 
Boy with a Drawing in his Hand, 


Boy dell sale, i3o 

Boys with Fit ' ' 
borough), i$f 

Braddyl. Mast«r, 161 

Braddyl, Portrait of Mr., lyj 

Breda,' C F. von, 183 

Brescia, 33 

Bridport, Reynolds visits, 86 

Britub Coffee Honse, 98 

British Mnaenm, Reynolds' note- 
book in, 35 

Broome, Lord, 139 

Browning, Elizabeth, 311 

Bruges, Reynolds at, 151 

Bmasels, BiWnolds at, 151, 173 

Bucckueh. Portrait of the Duehtis 

Eof, 108 
nnbniy. Sir Charles, 90, 91 
Bunlnay, Lady Sarah, sacrificing 

to Ms Graces, 304 
Bunbuty, Portrait of Mattrr, HI, 149 

. Edmund, 81, ,. .. _ . 
147, 153, 177, 184, 113-31S; con- 
sulted b^ Reyiudds, 66 ; his friend- 
ship vith Reyncjds, 53 ; joins 
Literary dab, 56 

Bnrkes, ttie, 81, 107 

Burlington House, 59, 91, 146, 195 

Bnniey, Dr., 13 1 

Bwney, Portratt of Dr.. 149 

Barney, Fanny, 139, 130, 144, 153, 
156, IS7. 184, III 

Bnte, Lotrd, 115 

B ^y, Mr., 144, 14s 

Cadii, Reynolds at, 16, 17 

Cadogan, Portrait of Lady, IfG 

Calonne, M. de, 154 

Cambridge, Owen, 119, 131 

CampbeU, Dr., 118 

Camfibdl. Portrait of John (Lord 

Cawdor], 137 
CampbtU, Portrait of Mitt Sarah 

{Mrs. Wodthauu), 137 
ConcaJwM, The, 17, 18, ig 
Carlini, Agostino, 64 note, 74 note 
Carlisle, Lord, 85, 116 
Carlisle Honse, 88 
Comae, Portrait of Mrs.. 331 
CaipacGio, mentioned, 30 
Carpenter. Wm., 16 note 
Carracd, The, mentioned, so 
Cairington, Lord, go 
Carysfort, Lord, 116, 131 
Catnerine of Rusua, 147, 174, [76, 

Cats' Book of EitAltms, 6 
Castelfranco, 38 

Catton, Charles, 64 note, 74 note 
Caetndiih, Portrait of Lady G«o^fs, 

Cavendish, Lord Richard, 147, 149 
Cent%aion, H.M.S., 15, 17 
Chatfbws, Portrait of Mrs., 195, 

ChaiHbtrt. Portrait of Sobtrt, 115 
Chambers, Sir William, 37, 18. 63, 

64 note, 6s, 67, 69, 70. 77. 145, 

181, 18} 
Chamier, joins Literary Qub, 57 
CkaptoM d* Poil (Rnbensl, 160 
Chardiu, 33, 193, 193 
Chailemont, Lord, 56, 81 
CkarltsV. at Miihlbarg, Titian's, 43 
Charlotte, Queen, 68 
ChmilotU, Portrait of Qu**n (Dance), 

Chait«e«y, Portrait of Nathanial. 



CttocotatQre, La, Liotard'a, 49 
CMmondAy, Portrait of Lord, 146 
Cholmondeley, Mn., 90, isi, iji 
ChudleiBh, Hiis, t*a Kingston, 

Dnc±Mi of 
Chnii eroumttl »M Thonu, Gnido'a, 

■' Christie's," 69 note, 77, 180 
Cipriani, G. B., 64 note, 74 note, 

CUrk, Ur.. 94 
Clergyman, Portrait of a, 133 


rgyman. Portrait of a, 133 
:kbMnt, and CkiUr*n, Lady, wa 

Daosri, Portrait of Sir Charlts, I30 
Davia, Tom, it 
Daviaon, Jereiniah, g nota 
Dtath of Cardinal Btaufort, IS4, 

CoKoiet, Lion, 96 
C^man, George, Sg, ill 
Cotman, Portrait of G*org4, Sj 
Cologne, Reynolds at, 151 
Conttnenee of Seipio, 134, 179 
Constable, John, 41 
ComtHa (Lady Cockburn m 

Childrtn), 115, 116, 1*8, B06 
Comely, Mis., 78 
Comewall, Luly, 147 
ComwaUis, Portrait of Lady, 85 
Coireggio, 104, 3oS ' ' ' " 

on Reynoldi, i3 
" Correggio," nickname for Rom- 

Cotes, Fcands, 54, 64 and note 

Cotterell, Miwea, 51 

Cotton, 3, 39, 47 

COnrtenay, John, 88 

Covent Gvden, a 19 

CoyU, Portrait of Gtorg* (Galna- 

borough], 146 
Crewe Hall, 79, 199 
Crmo, Masltr, m Htnry VIH.. 

119, 110, 305, 306 
Crtwe, Portrait of Miu, S07 
Crost^e, Diana, Lady, an 
Crodnt, Portrait of Lady, 44, 141, 

173' 17s, 300, 3o6, 3>6 
CwM&trteMf, Portraits of ilu Dtihs 

and DMchtti of, lOS 
Cnmberiaad, Ricbud, 90, 95, 107, 

Cupid'and Ptyek*. 179 
Cutlifie,6, 7, 10, II 
CymoM atid Iphiftina, 150, 180 

Dalion, Richard, Gg note, 73, 77 
Dallon, Richard, Hon. Hem. ol 

ER.A., 71 
anur. Portrait of Mrt.. 108 
Dance, Nathanid, 64 note, 74 note, 

Dsnte. 109 

DamUy, Portraitjpf Lord. 177 
DashkofE, Piinceaa, 147 
Datkwood and Child, Lady, t6i 

Delavar, Liard, 

D'Eon, Chevalier, 175 and note 

Dtrby, Portrait of Lady, iia 

" Deserted Village," dedicated to 

Reynolds, 85 
Devonshire, Goorgiana, Dncheaa of, 

118, 3It 
DtBOtukir*, Portrait of th* Duektss 

of, 119. 138 ^Gainsborough) 

Daoontkira. Portrait of tk* Dttkt of, 

Diamond Necklace, Afiair ol the, 

Dilettanti Society, 60, 98 
Dibtlanii Society, Portrait Groups 

of Ika, 123, 134 and note 
" Discoarsea," Reynolds', 39, 75, 

87, 140, 153, 164, 173, 173, 183, 

1B3, 307, 313-335 
Dorcneater, Reynolds visit*, 8$ 
Dorset, Portrait of the Duko of, I30 
Dresden Gallerv, 49 
Drummond, Aoam, 107 
Dmry Lane, 131, 1*3, 319 
Dublin, 148 

" Duenna," Sheridan's, 1*5 
Dnndas, Heniy, 147 
Donning, Mr.. 147, 14S 
Dunning, Portrait of Mr., 
DOssddorf, Reynolds at, 1$! 
Dysart, Portrait of Lady, ite 

EcKBKSAL, Hn., 147 

44, too, 131 ; letter from Rey- 
nolds to, 17 
EdgeunOe, Portrait of Lord, 116 
E^cumb*. Portrait of Rickard, Its 
Edinburgh Gallery, 54 
Egerton. Portrait of Mr., 157 
EUot laniily, 15. 54 
EUiotI, Portrait of Lady, 176 
EBiol, Portrait of Mrt. DalryMpU, 

Englefidd, Fortnit of Sir Henry, 



•pnrilfih an l&artlatlc nation. 41 
Ersiine, Portrait of. tj^ 
" Essay on Truth," Beattle'a. 
" Essay on Women," Wilkes", 
Essex Street Clnb, 173 
Evans, Mary Anne, 31 1 
" Evelina," Hiss Bnniey's, la; 
Evdyn, John, his Mheme io 

Audemy of Fine Art, 59 
Exeter, mctniea by Gandy at, 

Reynolds visits. 86 

Garriek betvetn Tragtdy and 

Comsdy, no, 303-304 
Gamck, death of. 141 ; discussed in 

" Imaginary Dialogoes," 134-140; 

his friendship with Reynolds, 53 ; 

Johnson on, 144 
GatrUt. Portraits of, 119, 303, 304. 

aoS ; Zofiany's Portrait of, 85 
Garriek, PortraiU of Mr. and Mtf^ 


of a. gi, 116, 

Farington, 9 

Ferrara, Reynolds at, 38 

Fwrirt, Portrait of Lord, I tfi 

FUippino (Lippi), 45 

Flaher, Edward, 38 

Flaher, Kitty, 54, a>l 

Fishtr. Portrait of Kilty, 199, 100 

Fitigtrald, Portrait of Lord Htnry, 

Fitzherbert, Mr.. 90 

Fitipatiick, Lady Gertrude, 147 

Flaxman, 87 

Fleet Street, 53 

Florence, Academy of. I30: Rey- 
nolds at, 31, 34-38 

Foligno, Reynolds at, 34 

Foote, Samuel, 95, 136-138 

Fortttuda, 149 

Forhine-TtlUr, Tttt, 133 and note 

FotUr, Portrait of Lady Btlty, 177 

Fox, C. J., 119, 135 

Fox, Charhi Jam»s, Portrait of, 161, 

France, Rej 

FraneUin, 1 ... 

Free Society of Artists, fit 

French Revolution. 178 

Fresnoy, Reynolds' notes t 
39, 319 

Fnseli, 181 

trasted with Reynolds, 117, 118, 
185, 303, 308, 309 ; his qnarrel 
with the R.A., 165, [66; Rey- 
nolds sits to, 155, 1(6, and note 

Gait, 66, 68 

Gandy, of Exeter, 13, 14, 16 note, 
48,114. 194. aoS 

Gaudy, WiUiam, 13 

n^-mACmr 111. T »!.. •... 

George IH., S4. 6a. 6s, 67-69, 73, 

78,79. 84, 1J8. i83, 314 
Gtorgt ill. and his Ckiidrtn (Gains- 

Gerrard Street. J 
Ghent, Reynolds at, 151 

Giardini. iii and note 

Gibraltar, Reynolds at, 15. 17 

Gibbon, III, ISO, I3i, 133, 131, 
133 ; (in " Imaginary Dialogue *' 
with Johnson], 135-140 

Gibbon, Portrait of, 146 

Gidaon Childr»n. 177 

Gilpin, Sawrey, 181 

<Horgioiie, 30 

Giotto, 35 

Girl Siuping, 177 

Girl with a KiUm (Fsh'iM), 177 

Girt with Pigs (Gainsborough), 154 

GloiuMstar, Portrait of th» Duchess of. 

Giouctster, DmJu of (F. Cotes], 79 

Goldsmith. 80, 81, 89, 100, 109, iij, 
110, 185; and NoTtbcote,95; Hon. 
Mem. of R.A., 71 ; his friendship 
withReynolds, $3'; joins Literary 
Club, 57 i on Reynolds, 187 ; on 
Reynolds' portrait of Beattie, lis 

Goldsmith, Dr., Portrait of , 85, IIJ. 
305, 109 

Goldsmith's Sh* Stoops to Congutr, 

Gordon, Portrait of tt« Duelteu of, 

Gordon Riots, 147 
Gosling, Portrait of Mts„ 157 
Gosse, Ur. Edronnd, 214 note 
Grafton, Dnke of, 81 
Grantham and his Brothers, tfird, 
, 177 



Gnen, Talenttna, letter to, 164 
Gregaries, Reynolds visits, 109 
Greville. Chulet, 187 
Grignon, 61 

Gnerciiu), mentioiMd, 30, 80 note ; 
his drawings copied by Rey- 

Gnido, 30 

Gwtktkln family, 117 

Gwatkin. Miss, 167 

Gwatkin, Mr., S7 

Gw&tkiii, Mn.. SM Palmer, Theo- 

Gwatldn. Richard Lovell, 153, 153 
Gwatkin, Tbeopbila, the yonnger, 

Gtrynn, 96 note 

Hackman, murderer of Hias Ray, 

Hsfne, Reynolds at the, 151 
Hua, Fnuns, 151, 173, 199 
Harbord, Portrait of Sir HaiiorJ 

(Gainaboroagh), 15S 
Harconxt, His., 147 
Harris, Mr., o( Salisbnry, 131 
Harris, Portrait of Lady, 1 77 
Harrington. Portrait of Lord, 157 
Hartley and Child, Mrs.. loS, 109 
Hastings, Warren, 175. 177, 187 
Hmierfiild, Portrait of Uiat, a\o 
Haward, Francis, 164 
Hawkeiworth, Dr., 81 
Hawkins, Sir J., 57 
Haydon. 41, 42 
Hayman. Francis, 9, 36, 54, 64 

note, 74 note 
HtatkfiM. Portrait of Lord, 177, 

30], so6, ao8, tog, an 
Htb4 (F. Cotes), 79 
Htctor and Andromaekt (A. ITanfi- 

tnann), 79 
Htrfrl, Masfar, as Baeehtts, 1 19 
Hinchcliffe, Dr., 81 
Mirsch. Mr., 146 
Historical Hannscripts Commission, 


. S. 7. 36. 39. 41. 43. 60. 
*". 73> '49 
Hogarth, on Thomhill's Academy, 


Portrait of Sir John, 


HodsoQ, Tbonuu. 5, 6, 7, S-ia, 
II. 17. S3. 81,97. 194. >97i criti- 
dses Reynolds, 35 ; death of, 141 ; 
his prolonged friendship with 
Reynolds, $4 ; bis style, 14 ; Rey- 
nolds apprenticed to, 6 ; rupture 
between him and Reynolds, 10, 

., l»9 

Hume, Portrait of Lady, 171 
Hanter, Dr. William, 68 
Hunter, Portrait of Dr.] o\n. 174. S06 
Huntingdon and Slormont, Lord*, 
Portrait granp, 47 

IcKwoRTH, 105 note 

"Idler," 119 

"Imaginary Dialogues": Reynold* 

and Jonnson ; Johnson and 

Gibbon, 133, and note, S19 
Imhofi Marian (Mrs. Hastinp), 

luchignin, Conntess of, see Palmer, 

Incorporated Society of Artists, 57, 

60, 61, 63. 66-68 and note, 69 

and note, 73 and note, 93 
Infant Hereuht. 114, 174. 17&- 

Infant Jupiter, 116 
Infant SI. Jolm, 119, iio 
Infant Samuel, 119, ijo 
Ingram, Miss, 147 
Innocence, The Age of, 107 
" Instrnment," The (constitntion 

of R.A.), 67, 7t 

Iackson of Exeter, r 

lames. Sic W.. 147 

jarvis' (or Jervas), glass-painter, 
142. and note, 143 ; Peepshow of 
the Oxford Window, 158 

Jervas {see above) 

Jtuil's Perspective, 4 

"joel. Michelangelo's, 46 

Johnson, Dr., 81, 107, 125, 130, 
131, 141, 144, 313-119 ; and Dr. 
Barnard. 115 ; at Academy Ban- 
quet, 158, 166; consnlted by Rey 
nolds, 66 ; death of, 1S7 ; bis ap- 
preciation of Reynolds, 54 ; tiis 
epitaph on G<ddsmith, 120; first 
meeUne with Reynolds, 51 ; his 
friendship with Reynolds, 52, 53 ; 



Ids nmaA on tbe Panttieon, g/8 ; 
Hon Member of R^., 71 ; joins 
the Literary Qnb, 56 ; letter to 
Reynolds, I $6 j on art, 61 note ; 
on Gold«mith'i litemy incceM, 
131 ; on Sberidan's plays, 136 ; 
on Reynolds, 166 

Johnson, Dr., Portrait of, 85, IIS, 
SOS. 309, 129, 211 

Johnson, Dr.. projected statne of. 

lands," Reynolds', 



Lelasd, 131 
Leslie, C R., quote 

loS, 117, las. 187, , . 

boTongb «nd the R.A.., 165 
Leslie and Taylor, qnoted, 6, 1 

13. 16. 39. 36, 40. 46, 7>> 9>> '' 

Lessings', LaocoBn, 150, 151 
M Suenr, Enitache. 33. 333 
Ltvtson, Portrait of Lord, ifii 
Liige, Roynolda at, 151 

Kauffmamn, Angelica, 57, 

64 note, 79, 118, 146 
Kmbla. Portrait of Miss (iit 

Twiss), t6t 
Kennedy, Ptdly, $4. go. 91 
Keppel. Admiral. 15-17, 45 
Ktpptl, Portrait of Admirat, 43-45, 

Keppd family, 54 

Kingston, Dncheas of, I3I and note 
KirW, Josiah, 66, 71, 73, 108 
KiiMey. Ralph, iSj 
Knapton, 43 
Kneller, 97 
Kntde, Fortrait of Goldsmith at, 86 

Led», Lady, see Smith, Mrs, 
Lady and Child, 133, 141 
Lady, Portrait of a, 116, 133, 157 
Langton, Beonet, 131; joins Literary 

dab, 56 
Largillitie, 43 
Lawrence, an 
L* Brun, Portrait of Madam* 

Xm, Portrait of Solieilor-Gtntral, 

Leghorn, Reynolds at, 17 
Leicester Fields, Reynolds' honse 

in, 66, 67, 88, 115, 117. lao 
Ltinstgr, Portrait of ths Dukt of. 

Literary Qub, 56,08, 119, 135 
Uoyd, Portrait of Mrs., 119, 3o6 
Lock, Mr.. 90 
London, Reynolds' arrives in, 36, 

Loavain, Reynolds at, iji 
Low Coantiies, Reynolds in 58, 

Lnca Giordano, 30 
Lncan, Lord, 111, 139 
Lyims, 33 

Mackintosh, Sir James, 88 
Maidttont, H.H.S., 45 
Maiden Lane Academy, 73 
Halone, Edmnnd, 13, 56, 139, 141, 

153, 314 and note 
Manntri, Portrait of Lady Louisa, 

M^imhi-afl Reynolds visits, 86 
Martekestar, Dnciass of, and htr Son, 

as Diana disarmiHg Cupid, 79 
Mantna, Reynolds at, iS 
Marcfai, Giuseppe, 33 
Marehi, C„ Portrait of, 35, 195, 


Marlborongh, Caroline, Dnchess of, 

HaiiboTong^, Duke of , 116, [3i 
Marlborough Family Group, 113, 
135. 137, 138, 306 

Marsham, Portrait of Lady Francos, 

Mason, quoted, 43, 47, 48 ; on Rey 
nolda' Nativity, 143,^143 

Maynard, Sergeant, t 

McArdeU, 195 

Mechlin, Reynolds'at, iji 

MediterranMui, Admiral Kcppel's 
command in the, 15 

Melancholy, aee Stanhopo, Mrs., 

Melbonme, Lord, 89 

Mslboum* with h*r Chil4, Lady. 

MMoumt, Portrait of Lad^, 120 
" Memorials of an Eighteenth 

Century Painter," Gwynn's, 96 
Metcalf, Philip, 151, 153 
Meyer, Jeremiah, 64 note, 74 note 
Meytr, Portrait of Miu, 97 
Michelangelo, 46,(163,. 163, 183 
Milan, 33 
Millais, 211, 325 




Ha, Sir Thomai, 107. 116, m 
UOltOWD, Conntera oi, 18 
liinorca, Reynoldi at, 16, 144, 14J 
Ifodenft, Reynolda tX, 18 
UolMworth, Sir W., 147 
Mofyntut, Lady (Gainabonnigh), 

Hontkgn, His., 121 
MonSant, Mrs., Portrttti of, 119 
Uont Cenls, 33 
Ifontgomery, tha Misses, loi, loa, 

113, 13?, 304. ijo: see also 

Tkr— LadUs dteorating « Tann 

More, Hannah, 117, ii 

IJ3 B 

119, 130. 131, 

Morgan, Portrait of Col., 178 

Morbnd, G«oi^, ^a 

Morning Walk, Th* (Goinabonin^), 

109, 31 1 
Horris, Miss, 80; see also Hop» 

nursing Loot 
UoMT, Ceorgo, 64 and note, M, 

«. 73 
Moser, Haiy. 64 note, 85 
Mount Edscnmbe, 15, 86, 113, 148 
MotmhtOk, Portrait of Lady. S 
Mount SUwari, Porlrail of Lord, ix> 
Mndge famOv, 36 
Hndge, Dr. John, 35 
Madge, Mr., 99, 113 
H<idg«, Zaf.hariah. 35 
Unlive, Lord, I3i 
Munich Gallery, 1 51 
Uunrot. Portrait of Sir H., 173 
Murphy, Arthur, 81 
Murphy, Portrait of Arikur. 115 
Miueiputa, 307 
Mnsgnve, Dr., 131 
Musters, Mrs., 147 
Musl*rs, Portrait of Mrt., 173 

National Gallery, 8. ao. II3, 150, 

19s. 304, 307' 

National Gallery of Irdand, 8, 18, 

79. 8C, 148 note 
NaUooal Portrait Gallery. 14. 38, 

K^ivity, The, 141 and note, 143- 

Nattier, 43 
Naval Review, 109 
Nesbitts, The, 80 
New College Cbapd, Rern<rfda' 

caTtoon.1 for window in, I41, 

143, 146. 154. 158 
Newport Street, 50, 53 
Newton, F. M., 64 note, €8 
Newton, Portrait of Bithop, 116 

Nobleman, A Young, 133, 157 
NofcfaMUK, Portrait of a. 173 
Nollekens, Joseph, 41 
" North Bnton, The," 54 
Northcote, James. 3, 3, 33, 37, 4f, 
", 106, 109, 130,158, iS9;qiioted« 

letters of, 94 ; on MarBioroufh 
Group, ia8 ; aketch of his career, 
93, 93 and note i 
NorthcotB, SamnBl, 99, 113 
Norlhington, Portrait of Lord. 173, 

Note-books, tea Pocket-books 
Notes on Pictures in tlw NetlMT^ 

Nngent,' Dr., 56 
Nogents, The, 81 
Nnneham Conrtonay, Reynolda 

visits, 109 
Nymph and Baeehua, 91 
Nymph with a young Bacchus IMru 

Hartley and Child), loS 

CBrixk, Nelly, 54, 3it 

O'Brien, Portrait of Nelly, 160, soo- 

303, 304, 307, 333, 336 

O'Brien, Portrait of Lady. 175 
Officer, Porlrail of an, 173 
Ovlethorpe, General, 14.7 
OldlUld. Anne. Portrait of, by J* 

Ricbardaon, 38 
Omiah, Portrait of, 1 19 
Opie, John, 13, 153 
Ord, Mrs., 13 1 
Orleans, Portrait of the Dnhe of, 174 

Ormonde, Duke of, 13 
Qsaory, Lord, 8t 
Oxford. Reynol(ls visits, t09 
Oxford Umversity, i 

Padua, 38, 33 

Paines, Portrait Group of the teea, 

PaU Hall, Bi^al Academy in, 77, 


Palma Vecchio, 30 
Palmer Manuscripts, 34, aS 
Palmer, Hary, nie Reynolds, 7 
Palniv. Hary, the younger, 87, 153, 

Palmer, Mr., no 
Palmer, Theophila {" Ofiy "}, 86. 

87, 91, 94, 133, 187 i letter to, 153 
Palmeiston, Lord, S9, g8, ti6, III 
Pantheon, The, 98 
Paoli, General, 133 
Paris Bordme. 30 
Paris, Reyncdds in, 33, 57, 97 



Parker ehildmi, 139 

Porker family, 1 5 

PukcT, Ut., 90 

Puma, Reynolds at, a8 

PoirhasiiiB, 34 

Payne-GBUweT,IHra., lag 

Pttilt Pelissf, Rabens', 44 

Pelligrini, Carlo, meotioiied, iS 

PeUew, Admiral,* 16 

Penny, Edward, 64 note, 65, €6 

Ptnion Lynn (Barref >), 79 
Pwcy, Dr., ijr 
Peridea, 33 
Pensia, Reynolds at, 04, 15 

E^dar, P«ter, 139 

Pitt, 166 

Pitti Palace, Reynold** notM on 

pictnm in, II 
Plymonth. S. 15. 3S. 36. "3 
Plvmontb Dock (DovoaportJ, 11, 

15. B6 
PlynipUn, I. 2, 5, 86, 99, lOO, 113 
Pocket-booki, notes in Reynolds', 

19, ao, 35, 36, 38, 39, 30, 40. 66, 

67,97,98, IIS, '58. i6i 
nxiock, Nicolu, letter to, 148 
" Poetical Review of Dr. Johnion'a 

Character," 88 
PortiEliot, IS, H8. I99 
Poit'Mahon, Kejmolds at, 16, 17 
Pott,' UiM Emay. 149 Bote 
Pott, Portrait of Sttrgeou, 163 
Potter, Theoidiila (Ua. S. Rey 

nolds], I, a 

Poynter, Sir Edward, « 
President of R.A., Reynolds 

fiiat. 66, 68, 71 
Price. Portrmt 0/ MUt, 8$ 

RAUBBRa's pictnre of the R.A., 176 
Ramsay, Allan, S4. 55' ^> Bi- ^Jt, 

30I, 304 
Raphael, 13. $'■ 45. 190, 333, 333 
Reading Boy, ^f . ist and note 
Reading Girl (Offy Pidmer], 91 
Rtpdtu (West), 68, 70 
" Relapse," Vanbmgh's, I33, I36 
Rembrandt, 1 3, 14. 3o, 19a, 193.' '94. 
197. 199 ! ^ influence on Rey- 
nolds, 194-1961 304 ; Reynolds 
copies his pictnrea, 194, 19s 
ReMiation. Goldsmith's, S4 
Reynolds, Misi Frances, 36, 40, 
53,94, no, 131, 187 

Reynolds. Sir Joshua, analy^ of 
his art, 193-313; an inefficient 
teacher, 37 ; ss a host, SS, 89 ; 
as a writer, 313-330; Urth and 
parentage, i ; edncation, 3, 4 : 
choice of a profession, 4 ; chacac- 
terof, 37, 1S5-190 ; critical ability 
of, 23 i elected Alderman of 
Plympton, 99 ; dected Mayor of 
Flympton, 100, 113 ; his eyeei^t 
fails, 180, 184; his last daya and 
deabk, 183, 184; joins literary 
Qab, 56 ; knighted, 79 

Reynolds. PoriraU of, by Breda, 183 ; 
by himself, 194, 16 note 

Reynolds, Sir J., receives D.CX. 
d^roe, 109 ; technical methods, 
48, 491 theo 
the variety 

Rey*olds, fP'i 

Portrait ffronp of, 38 

Reynolds, Rev. Samnd, t, s, 3, 7, 

Richardson, Jonathan, 5, 38, 141 
Richmond, 1 19 ; Reynolds' homeat. 

theory of art, a 

iety ofnis art, 39 

WMoH and C 

Dnke of, 176 
R^nd, John Francis, R,A., sS 
" Rivals,*' Sheridan's, I3S 
Robinetta, 307 
Robin Goodftilov, 179. 180 
Jiobimon, Portrait of Dr., 116 
Robinson, Mis. (Perdita). I33, 175 
Robinson, Portrait of Mrs. (Periita). 

154. 303 

Rodiester, Dr. Tiamat,Biski)p of, 154 
Roden, Lord 

Rodney. Portrait of Lord, 179 
Rome, Reynolds at, 17, 19, S3, 03, 

34, 35 
Rome, Rejmolds on pictwea in, 19 

Roubiliac, 36, 53, 304 

Rubens, 30, 44, 199 ; his Ctutptau 
dt Poil, 30I, 303; his affinities 
with Reynolds, 158-160; bi»Rape 
of llie Sabines, 151 

Rnshbrooke, Bnry St. Edmonds, 105 

Rntland, Dnchess of, 147 
RuOoHd, Portrait of tJte Dmkut of, 

Rutland, the Children of tka Dmiu of. 

116, 149, 173 
Rntley, Ur., pictDie-cIeaner, 39 

St. Abapb, Bishop of, 131, 153 
SI. Asaph and Child, Lady, 170 
St. Leger. Portrait of Col.. 1 54 


St.^Usrtin's Lane, 44 ; Reynolds 
lodges in. 36, 39, 40 ; Thoniliill'i 
Academy in, te, 73, 74 
St. Paul, RaphMl'i, 45 
St. F&nl's Cathbdial, propooed 

decoration □[. 114 
Saliibury, Portrait of Lady, 149 
Saltram, is, 148, 105 note; Rey- 
nolds visits, 86 
Sat va tor Kosa, aoS. aaa 
Saiviati, 20. 30, 308 
Sandby, Pul, 64 not* 
Sandtre, Thonuu. 68 
Sandbar, William, 61, Sa 
San Giobbe, Church of, 30 
Santa Croce, Chnrch of, 35 
Sta. Maria Uaggioie, Chnrch of, 

Santa Maria Novdla, Chnrch of, *$ 
San Zaocaiia, Chnrch of. 30 
Sctut from King John (Penny), 79 
School of AHuns, tt* " Caricatfrv," 

Smith, PortraU of Mrt. Drum- 

Society of Artists of Great Britain, 
aiteiwards Incorporated Society, 


Societjrof Arts, 61, i j8 
Somerset Honse, 118, 154, 181- 
[83 ; the Royal Academy In, 77, 

Sophia Matilda, Portrait of Uu, Prin- 

essi. III, 116, 307 
Sottth Monlton, a 
Somerley, 141 note, 143, 144 
Spa, Reynolds at, iji 
Spencer. Lord Robert. 81 
Sptnetr, PortraU of Coitntttt. 174 
Spitchwick, 148 
Spring Gardens, exhibition, 61 
Stanhops. Portrait of th$ Bo*. 

Mrs., 173, and note, 176 
Star and C^ter, Richmond, 98 
5t(rfW, Portrait of, 300, 30J, 103, 


" School for Scandal," Sheridan's, 


Stoa. Portrait of Lady Carolina 

Montagu, 133 
Scott, Portrait of Lady E. Monlagu, 

SIraxpberry Girl, Th*. IDS. 109, 1 

lo; ; ci» also Palmer, Theophila 
Streatham, 115, 139, 311 
SliMfi, Portrail of Andrtm, 143, 

Samnel Scott, portrait ot by £ 

eon, 8 
Segnier, 180 and note 
Selwyn, George, on Reynolds, 14J 
Sharpe, Portrait of Joshua, 174 
Sheffield. PortraU of Lord, 178 
Sbelbnme, Lord, 115, I3i 
Sheridan, i3i, 133, 177, 187 
Sheridan, Portrait of, [79, 180 
Sheridan. Bilrs., 118, 143, 309, 3il 
Shtridan, Portrait of Mrt. (Gains- 

botongb), 157 
Shtridan, Mr$.. as SI. CtcUia, 116 
"She Stoops to Conquer," prodnc- 

tion of, TOO, 107 
Siddons, Mrs., iso 
Siddoiu, Mrs., as tht Tragic Must, 

46, 11$, 15S, 161-164 and note 
SintpUcity, 179, 307; m* alio, 

Sistine Chapd. 33. 163, 163 
Smart, Rev. TtuMUa, j 
Smith, John Raphael, 147 
Smith. Lady, and Childrm, laS. 

176, 306 
Smith, "Ufe of NoUekems," it 
Smith. Portrait 0/ Mrt., tja and 

TaOiot. Portrait of Lady Chariot 

TarteloH, Portrait of Cot., 154 
Taoiiloeh, Portrait of Lady, 199, 

Taylor, Portrait of Lady, 174 
Taylor, Tom. quoted, aj, 33, 66, 89, 

po, 131 i tus sketch of a week 

in Reynolds' life qnoted, [01-106; 

on Reynolds in 1764, 55 
Tcmptrance, 149 
Temple, 183 

TtmpU, Portrait of Lord, 119 
Tennant, Sir Charies, 175, 300 
Tetnaa, Keppd at, 1 j 
Tintoretto, 30 
Tintoretto's Marriag* in Cana, 30, 

lltian, 30, 30, 43, 44, 197, 199, sof 

Thais (Emily I\>lt), 149 and note 
Thontoid.lbrchioness of, 133 note 

(H ^ito Palmer, Mazy 
Tbori (W. Bnrger), 193 
ThorahiU, Sir James, 36, 73 ; hit 

academy, fio 
Thondon, PortraU of Mr., 149 



Thfale. S6, iij, 139, 130, 134, 144 

14s, i6e, 186, 187 
Thrilei, The, 81, 1$$ 
TkrM Laditt dscorating a Tarm of 

Hymen, too. loi, lis, 116, 304, 

30S, 334, 33; 
Thnrlow, Lord, 87, 166 
TKurlow, Portrait of Lord, 154 
TolUmache tu Miranda, Mrs., 1 16 
Tama, 74 note 
Treby. Hr.. 6, 86 
Trecothick, Mrs., 78 
Trip to Scuboron^ Th«, iss, la; 

Tyramntl, Portrait of Lady. I3D 

Fm <fer G—it, Portrait of Comaiu. 

(VandycV], 190 
VendtgvcM Ckiidrtn, TIm, 1^4 
V«n Dyck. 13, 41, 44, 197. 199 

Van Loo, 43 
Van Nost, 36 
VaiDlari, 30 
Vasari. as 

Veluquez, 44, n'l 19S, 199 
Venice, 44 ; Reynolds at, 38-33 
Vmus. 17 J 

Kanfimann), 79 
Vtmon, Portrait of Lord, 179 
Viron, Eagine, 193 
Veronese, Paolo, 30, 1C4 
Vcrtue, engraver, 60 
Vesey, His., i3i 
Victoris and Albert Mnsenm, 9a 
Vinci, Leonardo da, tS, 334 
Voltaire, iia 

Wftldegrave. Lady t . „ 
Waldtgtaot, Portrait Group of tt« 

Ladits, 149, I jo, i$3, 3oiS 
Wale, Samad, 61, 64 note. 68 
(Toiw, Portrait of On Print* of 

(Gainsborongli}, 154, 161, i7a.4ad 

note, 176 
Wallace CoUecUoo, 160. 175, MO, 


Walsingham, lbs., iii 
Ward, Portrait of Miit, I76 
Wailey Camp; 139 
Warfon. Portrait of, 161 
Watson, Portrait of the Han. Mn., 

WelUnrton, Dnke of, 50 
West, Benjamin, 64 and note, 66, 69, 

74 note, 99, 183 
Wayland. Portrait of Mrs., tao 
Wtaeatiey, F., 14S 
Wbite, Geoiga, the Paviour. 90, 

_?'■ '°? 

Whitefoord, Caleb, 107 

Wilka. John, hia Mendsbip with 

Reynolds, 53, 54, So, 84, 187 
William Frideriek, Portrait of 

Prinu, I4fi 
Wilson, Richaid, 41, 74 note, 15s 

and note 
Wilton, Joseph, 37, 38, 41, 54, 64 

not^ 65-67, 70 
Wilton Honse, S6 
Windham, Portrait of Colonel. 154 
Wobum, 86 

Wolcot, Dr. (Peter Pindar], i ;8 
WoTSley. Portraits of Sir RicMard 

and Lady, lao, 139, 146 
Wren, Sir Cbriatopber, 113 
Wyndham, 177 

Ybo, Richard, 64 note 
Yorhe, Portrait of MasUr, 176 
Yorlt, Reynolds at, 86 
Young NoUtman.A, 133 

Zbitxis, 34 

Zofiany, 08 

Znccai^, FnuiGCSCO, 64 note. 74