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Joshua Reynolds

( Artist)

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Biography Joshua Reynolds
photo Joshua Reynolds
(1723-1792)
In 1789 in Russia on the ship 'Friendship', arrived from England a huge painting, made famous English painter Joshua Reynolds, commissioned by Russian Empress Catherine II.

The plot of the monumental canvas "The Infant Hercules Strangling the Serpents, planted Hero '- one of the most famous historical tracks Reynolds - was chosen by chance. As explained by the artist himself in a letter to Prince GA. Potemkin: 'I have chosen a theme for supernatural force Hercules still in its infancy, because this plot allows an analogy ... Teen with, but so well-known power of the Russian empire '. Allegory was flattering to the young, who claimed in the international arena and caused the state approving resonance in Russian society. In London, the same order Reynolds proudly regarded as a kind of diplomatic mission to strengthen relations between the two countries and the high honor bestowed England.

Catherine II paid 1,500 guineas for a painting, the artist sent a snuff box with his portrait, adorned with diamonds, and thank-you note.

After the death of Reynolds, his executors wrote to Catherine II: 'Your Majesty did at the same time the greatest honor of the picturesque arts and our country by providing the patronage of the late Chevalier Reynolds ... painted his picture - certainly the biggest of its work, and, according to experts in our country, brought the greatest triumph of the English school ... '

. In the last third of the eighteenth century, a national English school of painting reached truly blossomed, and its acknowledged leader, legislator 'fashion', 'high' style in art was the author of 'Infant Hercules' Joshua Reynolds
. By the time of the famous paintings, and still decorating the St. Petersburg Hermitage Museum, Reynolds was at the top of the world, loaded with all kinds of honors and titles.

It seems the fate of initially favorably disposed to the young man, a provincial from a wealthy family pastor in g.Plimptone, in Devonshire. 'I'll be an artist, if you give me the opportunity to become a good artist' - a claim he said, parents. And apparently he got the opportunity.

In 1741 the 18-year-old Reynolds entered the studio to fashion then, but very mediocre portraitist Hudson, where he studied for two years. Having the necessary skills of a professional artist, Reynolds returned from London to his homeland and began to carry out minor works. The further its development and success of an artist first and foremost was obligated to patrons - Devonshire noble landowners, who kindly took him. In England, the eighteenth-ka ve quite a few patrons, aristocrats keen on 'growing' artistic talents. In the house of the Lord Edzhkomba Reynolds met with Captain (later Admiral) Keppel, who helped him to visit Italy. The artist depicted this romantically enthusiastic young officer on the shore of the stormy sea.

During the three years spent in the 'Mecca' of European artists, Reynolds studied and copied works of great masters of the past, especially the frescoes of Michelangelo in the Vatican, the Venetian painters, and above all, Titian. On the way back to England, Reynolds stopped in Paris and there became acquainted with many masterpieces of painting, and in later years twice in the Netherlands, where he had a particularly strong influence of Rembrandt's art.

On his return from Italy in 1753 Reynolds finally settled in London and opened his own workshop. Due to its high technology, exceptional performance and a wide patronage of the artist soon became very popular. Thank Reynolds grew up as the price of his portraits, but this did not deter the many fans who wanted to be etched with a brush national 'maestro'. There were years when Reynolds wrote three or four portraits in the week, but later became a prominent public figure, creating no more than 60-70 portraits a year, and almost every one of them became a milestone in the artistic life of Great Britain.

Man of the world, well-mannered and educated, he was friends with many of those who made 'color' of the nation - a scientist-writer S. Johnson, the great tragic actor D. Garrick, the remarkable British writers-playwrights About. Goldsmith, L. Stern R. Sheridan and other luminaries of the time. All of them are immortalized in a portrait of the artist, not only to the life perfectly with the original, but managed to identify each characteristic, highly individual

. The house Reynolds at Leicester Square assembled a brilliant and very motley society: representatives of different political persuasions, . high-ranking church officials, . court, . military, . society ladies, . Sailors, . Ambassadors, . Actors, . royals, . sometimes people directly from the street, . and all of them, . as evidenced by historians, . Reynolds has provided a friendly welcome,
. Everyone except artists T. Gainsborough and Dzh.Romneya, which saw their rivals.

Built in an image gallery, portraits of these people - a remarkable testimony to the era, history 'in the faces' of English society, national culture

. Departing from established since the seventeenth century tradition of the ceremonial portrait with its lush decor and idealization of the model, . Reynolds sought to emphasize above all the personal dignity, . while preserving the excitement and solemn style, . characteristic of his portraits,
.

Typically, the artist supplied the model attribute, hinting at their social status, profession, hobby, Merit. The young colonel Tarleton captured in the heat of battle, near the war-horse, against the background of a fluttering flag. This is one of the most spectacular paintings by Reynolds. The Governor of Gibraltar, Lord Hitfild depicted against the backdrop of the smoking guns, with the key of the fortress, which he defended against the encroachments of the Spaniards and the French. The famous English painter of the nineteenth century Dzh.Konstebl said that the portrait of the national hero, weather-beaten red-faced Lord Admiral Hitfilda - 'this is the whole history of the protection of Gibraltar'.

For their models artist treated fairly restrained (his portraits are always cool) and at the same time tried to the best of them flatter, finding in each something most advantageous. Most images respectable, but not conceited, and all aristocratic, even if they are representatives of bourgeois and bohemian artistic as Nelly O'Brien (best female portrait by Reynolds), the amorous adventures of a buzz was all London.

Excellent craftsmanship and Reynolds in the figure, in an intense, saturated, in the spirit of his beloved Venetians, coloring, and he masterfully executes accessories, draperies, decorative and landscape background. Because of the heavy-open curtains modern viewer opens like a kind of historic theater, the actors are real, the names are known, and they act out scenes of their own lives, often with allegorical overtones.

Prominent among the portraits of Reynolds are engaged in child. There are many, and they are all good. Each child its appearance and gestures, it is typical for his age. Reynolds, a man dry, and pedantic, not having his family and even, according to contemporaries, never experienced the romantic passion, a special pleasure to learn a child's face, his figure, gestures. That is a child, naively put his pen on his head, then baby, clap palms of hands mother, the older girls, in imitation of adults sitting sedately, like a true lady.

Not forgotten and the traditional British love of animals, which are particularly common in children's portraits, such as in a charming image of Lady Caroline Montagu. But even in these lovely images feel the chill, the prudence of the director, thought over every movement of his young actors. A real masterpiece, as recognized by the Reynolds became the 'Girl with strawberries' - to address profound psychological portrait of his niece Offee Palmer

. All paintings Reynolds struck a remarkable compositional ingenuity, innate sense of rhythm, rich, warm colors, black and white contrasts, showing the lessons from the Venetians, Rembrandt and other masters of the past
. In utterances Reynolds is constantly developing the idea that an artist should know the experience of the great predecessors and has the right to 'quote'. 'Studying the invention of other, . we learn to reinvent yourself, and you can take a ready-made form and filling it with new content - then the picture is the property of the artist, . despite the obvious borrowing ', . - This concept was supported by Reynolds and his fellow philosophers,
.

His thoughts about the art of Reynolds in the famous 'speeches', which he pronounced each year before students of the Academy of Art in London. They have repeatedly been published in book form and became an important contribution to the classical aesthetics of the Enlightenment, to a large extent influenced the formation of artistic taste of contemporary English society. In his aesthetics Reynolds defends rigorous academic teaching and insists not only on the study of old masters, but also on a constant appeal to nature. He likes classical traditions, an admirer of antiquity and the High Renaissance, he at the same time was a close friend of Stern, one of the main representatives of sentimentalism in England, search for 'the way to the heart'. Reynolds himself in one of his speeches proclaimed superiority in the art of imagination and sense. His portraits are often characterized by a duality that is evident in his theory.

During the life of older contemporary of Reynolds - U. Hogarth in English society of mature desire to create a professional art school, with a permanent exhibit space and museum. In December 1768 the charter of the Academy of Fine Arts was signed by King, who became her patron, so that to this day has the title of the Royal Academy. Its doors opened to the first exhibition of 130 paintings by famous British painters of the time, led by Reynolds. Since then, the walls of this school, whilst in the exhibition, and the best graduates of the Academy compiled and continuously updated a wonderful art gallery.

The first president of the Royal Academy of Arts and began almost until his death remained Joshua Reynolds, was erected in the knighted and is now referred to as Sir. President of the Academy has expanded with each passing year, their public communication, . became a member of various clubs, . received his doctorate in civil law at Oxford University, . was elected mayor of his native city Plympton and in 1784 served as chief of the royal painter,
.

By creating a 'historic', 'big' style of portraiture, Reynolds as head of the Academy could not pay their proper historical painting. In the academic hierarchy of genres in the first place has traditionally been a historical (though in those days, under the historical plot was meant mainly mythological or religious). But the famous portrait painter in this genre is plagued with failures. Among the large number of historical tracks malooriginalnyh Reynolds most interesting and possess high artistic merit are the already mentioned 'Infant Hercules' and written by order Potemkin' Amour, . Isolation Zone of Venus',
.

Joshua Reynolds created more than 40 years, had many admirers and many friends, but always stayed alone. From his youth he could not hear well, and in 1789 began to lose sight. Biographers tell us that when the artist no longer see with one eye, he put the brush on the easel, and calmly said, with the courage that he has never changed: "Everything in the world is ending, and came to my end '. In 1790, Joshua Reynolds said farewell speech to students of the Academy, and in 1792 he was solemnly buried in London's St. Paul's Cathedral will forever remain the pride of English painting.


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