This magnificent catalogue, in three volumes and with nearly 2,000 illustrations, will restore George Romney (1734–1802) to his long-overdue position – with his contemporaries Reynolds and Gainsborough – as a master of 18th-century British portrait painting. The product of impressive and thorough research undertaken over the course of 20 years, Alex Kidson asserts Romney’s status as one of the greatest British painters, whose last catalogue raisonné was published over 100 years ago. In more than 1,800 entries, many supported by new photography, Kidson aims to solve longstanding issues of attribution, distinguishing genuine pictures by Romney from works whose traditional attribution to him can no longer be supported. The author’s insights are guided by rich primary source material on Romney—including account books, ledgers, and sketchbooks—as well as secondary sources such as prints after lost works, newspaper reports and reviews, and writings by Romney’s contemporaries.
“Alex Kidson’s catalogue has many virtues: It corrects erroneous, and reveals hitherto unknown, attributions; it chronicles how commissions were carried out; and it meticulously trawls account books, ledgers, sketchbooks, newspaper reports, reviews, and the writings of Romney’s contemporaries to supply the contemporary background for an oeuvre that spans nearly 2,000 portraits. But it also shows how Romney [brought] an altogether new inventiveness and élan to portraiture.”—Edward Short, Weekly Standard~Edward Short, Weekly Standard
“There is no doubting Kidson’s heroic achievement in producing this catalogue, which has been designed and edited to an exceptionally high standard… By his meticulous research and with his fair-minded assessments Kidson has clearly placed Romney back on his pedestal in the pantheon of great British artists of the eighteenth century.”—Stephen Lloyd, Burlington~Stephen Lloyd, Burlington