Sun, 29 Mar 2015
Experiments in Paint

I've never been a great admirer of Sir Joshua Reynolds, the 18th Century English painter/portraitist, and first president of the newly created Royal Academy. A look around the small exhibition of his work at the Wallace Collection has made me somewhat more sympathetic though.

His paintings often appeared a bit flat, or "dead" to me. I knew his work is well-known as being badly affected by time, deteriorating a lot over the years, but I had not realised that a lot of this was due to his experimentation with the medium. Oil painting is sometimes as much a science as an art, hence the experimentation. It's also another reason many people find oils hard to use.

Some of the pictures are very good but sadly quite faded. Still, there is some beauty here and this (free) show is worth a visit to the superb Wallace Collection to see.

A few pictures I took below, including : a Reynolds self-portrait (downloaded, no photography in the exhibition), some Greek nymphs, a lovely French 18th Century weather gauge ("Beau Temps"?), Pluto abducting Proserpine, The Lace Maker by Caspar Netscher and finally, Madame de Pompadour by François Boucher.