British Museum guidebook, £3.50
Height: 480.000 mm
Width: 380.000 mm
Bequeathed by William Meriton Eaton, Baron Cheylesmore
Prints and Drawings
Valentine Green, Sir Joshua Reynolds, a mezzotint
Published in London, England, AD 1780
Reynolds's self-portrait proclaims his intellectual and artistic pedigree
More prints were made of paintings by Reynolds than any other British eighteenth-century artist. People knew his work chiefly through prints and Reynolds controlled the publication of his work carefully.
Reynolds painted this self-portrait for the Royal Academy, of which he was President. It still hangs there. The painting was intended as a pair to one of the architect Sir William Chambers and they were to hang together in the Assembly Room of the newly-completed building in Somerset House. The talented mezzotinter Valentine Green (1739-1813) was one of very few engravers to join the Academy as an Associate.
T. Clifford, A. Griffiths, and M. Royalton-Kisch, Gainsborough and Reynolds in t (London, The British Museum Press, 1978)
N. Penny (ed.), Reynolds (Royal Academy of Arts and Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1986)
T. Clayton, The English print, 1688-1802 (New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 1997)