Sir Joshua Reynolds

A Complete Catalogue of His Paintings

David Mannings; The Subject Pictures Catalogued by Martin Postle

View Inside Price: $265.00

November 10, 2000
1264 pages, 9 1/4 x 11 3/8
1750 b/w + 144 color illus.
ISBN: 9780300085334

Published for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art

This splendid two-volume catalogue of the paintings of Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723–1792), the father of British portrait painting and first president of the Royal Academy, represents one of the most important scholarly projects of recent decades in the field of eighteenth-century British art. Reynolds’s paintings—well over two thousand—are scattered across the world in hundreds of public and private collections and libraries. The catalogue includes illustrations of nearly all of the artist’s works and offers a critical reexamination of each painting, taking full advantage of modern methods and the findings of conservation experts. David Mannings provides the entries for the portraits, and Martin Postle contributes the entries for Reynolds’s historical and fancy pictures.

Taking into account two centuries of art criticism and the observations of leading modern authorities, the catalogue also considers such enlightening documents as the artist’s sitter-books and ledgers. It re-examines Reynolds’s studio practice and procedures, working methods, use of assistants and prices, and it delineates with new clarity the distinction between Reynolds’s work and that of his many followers and imitators.

David Mannings is senior lecturer and head of the Department of History of Art at King’s College, University of Aberdeen, Scotland. Martin Postle is assistant keeper of British Art at the Tate Gallery in London.

“The catalogue will be the first port of call for anyone interested in Reynolds and presents much new material for all scholars interested in 18th-century Britain. I think we can predict that such thorough, detailed research will make it unnecessary for another catalogue of Reynolds’s work to be published for the next hundred years.”—Hugh Belsey, Art Newspaper

“The definitive starting point for any enquiry on Reynolds.”—Alex Kidson, Burlington Magazine

“These two substantial volumes represent a major contribution to English art. Not only do they present the most complete picture currently available of the paintings of Sir Joshua Reynolds . . . but they also brilliantly illuminate the culture and personalities of this heroic and confident age. Mannings . . . offers some 2,000 meticulously researched entries chronicling current ownership, provenance, dimensions, and previous scholarship. . . . A splendid achievement. Essential for all serious students of English art.”—Choice

“Mannings deserves the highest praise for these two magisterial volumes. The dogged skill of assessing, recalling and balancing all the information make this among the greatest books ever published on British art.”—Hugh Belsey, Country Life

“Kent’s immensely learned, contextually alert, and provocative investigation establishes a standard against which all future studies of patronage will be measured.”—Robert Cahn, Fashion Inst. of Technology

"An outstanding scholarly work that could well serve students of 18th-century art history for the next century. . . . An outstanding example of art history at its best, these volumes will serve their readers in many ways and for many years."—Paula Frosch, Metropolitan Museum of Art Library

“There cannot be much else to add after this new catalogue, which is a magnificent work of scholarship and modern book production.”—Robin Simon, The Spectator

“Illustrated and researched with exemplary care, these two volumes also illuminate the lives of many personalities in Georgian society.”—Richard Cork, The Times

“Yale University Press, which sets the standards for the publication of art books, has outdone itself in this hefty-two volume memorial to the father of British portrait painting and first president of the Royal Academy. Because Reynolds’ paintings are scattered in collections throughout the world, Mannings’ monumental, fully illustrated catalogue, which brings the works together, is a boon to all scholars and amateurs of the artist.”—Virginia Quarterly Review

Winner of the 2002 First Prize in the Historians of British Art Book Prize for the category of single-author work dealing with a topic before circa 1800
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