Reynolds at Waddesdon: A Trail
21 Mar – 28 Oct 2018, Wed-Sun
This year marks the 250th anniversary of the founding of the Royal Academy of Art in London, of which Sir Joshua Reynolds was the first president. Discover Waddesdon’s impressive collection of paintings by Reynolds on this self-led trail through the House.
Joshua Reynolds transformed British painting with portraits, ‘fancy pictures’ and history paintings that promised to be engaging to audiences. He quickly achieved fame as a portraitist at the heart of London’s artistic, literary, theatrical and scientific circles and as an eloquent teacher and art theorist, he used his presidency at the Royal Academy to raise the status of art and artists in Britain.
Waddesdon’s exceptional collection of Reynolds paintings demonstrates the multiple ways in which portraits can be interpreted by the viewer, and the stories that explain the history behind the paintings. The portraits range from the self-promotion of aristocrats, the hidden secrets and blackmail of celebrities to his interest in the historical and mythological.
Join Senior Curator Juliet Carey and take a closer look at some of Waddesdon’s works by Reynolds. Discover how he transformed portraiture and what recent scientific analysis has revealed about his experiments with paint.