Michael Bryan.

Bryan's dictionary of painters and engravers (Volume 4) online

. (page 58 of 82)
Online LibraryMichael BryanBryan's dictionary of painters and engravers (Volume 4) → online text (page 58 of 82)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

was employed to design the triumphal arches for
the reception of William III. at the Hague, by
which he acquired some celebrity ; and he was after-
wards engaged to ornament some of the principal
apartments in the palace at Loo, in which he
showed a fertile invention, and great facility of
execution. One of his best productions was a
ceiling in the hotel of M. de La Court Vandervoort,
at Leyden ; it is an ingenious composition, and
the colouring possesses much of the brilliancy
which is found in the productions of the best
painters of the Flemish school. He died in 1716.

REUVER, THEODORE DE, born at Utrecht in
1761, imitated the old masters and painted land-
scapes. He died in 1808.

REUWICH, ERHARD, a painter of Utrecht, prac-
tising in the 15th century, and known only as
having accompanied Breydenbach on his travels
from 1474 to 1483, and having executed all the
designs in illustration of the various editions of the
narrative published by the latter.

REVE, JEAN HUBERT, French painter ; born in
1805 at Bourgogne (Marne) ; a pupil of Perseval.
Held a professorship at the Reims Lycee. Excelled
as a portrait painter. The Reims Museum pos-
sesses most of his best work. He died at Reims,
September 23, 1871.

REVEIL, ETIENNE ACHILLE, a French engraver
and draughtsman, born in Paris in 1^00, was a pupil
of Gros, Girodet-Trioson, and Abel de Pujol. He
made drawings from many famous pictures and
statues, and engraved them in outline for various
publications. Examples of his work are to be
found in the ' Musee de Peinture et de Sculpture,'
the 'Galerie des Arts et de 1'Histoire,' and the



' Musde de Versailles.' He also engraved in outline
the works of Ingres, published by Didot.

REVEL, ALFRED, a French engraver, was a
native of Paris, and exhibited at the Salon from
1831 to 1852. He died in 1865. He was largely
employed upon vignettes for books, but also en-
graved the following plates :

Paul Potter sketching from Nature in the environs of

the Hague ; after Le Poittevin.
The Broken Pitcher ; after Greuze.
St. Catharine ; after Ch. Landelle.

REVEL, GABBIEL, painter, born at Chateau-
Thierry, 1643, was a pupil of Charles Le Brim,
and an artist of some reputation in his day. He
became a member of the Academy in 1683. He
assisted in the decoration of Versailles, and finally
settled at Dijon, where he died 1712, and where
are to be found the following :

Portrait of Pierre Lenet, procureur general du Parle-

ment de Dijon. 1641.
Portrait of Jean Dubois, the sculptor of Dijon.

His son JEAN, born in Paris, 1684, was a skilful
designer of patterns for the silk-manufacture, and
died at Lyons 1751.

TACCHI, a Genoese painter, born in 1672, studied
under Antonio Haffner, and formed a close friend-
ship with Francesco Costa. For twenty years these
two in concert executed landscape and other ac-
cessories for historical painters. Their master-
piece is said to be at Pegli in the Palazzo Grille,
consisting of the decorations of a set of rooms.
He died in 1732.

REVERDINO, CESARE, was an Italian engraver,
who flourished from -1531 to 1564. His figures
are very indifferently drawn, and bis plates have
little to recommend them, except their neatness.
He sometimes marked his plates with the mono-


The following prints by him are

apparently from his own designs :

Moses striking the Eock. 1531.

The Wise Men's Offering.

A small Frieze, representing a Bacchanalian subject.

Venus coming to Vulcan for the arms of jEneas.

Those that are marked with his name in full,
and are undoubtedly his work, are in a style
between that of Giulio Bonasone and Agostino
Veneziano, and seem to prove that he was of the
school of Marc-Antonio. A descriptive catalogue
of his engravings will be found in Passavant's
' Peintre-Graveur,' vi. 107117.

REVEST, CORN^LIE LOUISE, painter of genre
pictures and of portraits, born at Amsterdam, 1795,
studied in Paris under Serangely and Vafflard.
By her:

Magdalen at the feet of Christ. (In the Marseilles

The Toilet of Psyche.

REVETT, NICHOLAS, an architect and painter,
born in Suffolk in 1720, went in 1742 to Italy,
and studied under Benefial in Rome. While he
was there practising as a painter he formed a
fiiendship with 'Athenian' Stuart, and in 1748
went to Naples and Greece to study Greek monu-
ments. He arrived at Athens in 1751, and was
there till 1754. but on going to other parts of
Greece he was seized by corsairs, to whom he
paid a ransom of six hundred dollars for his re-
lease. He then continued his researches, but under
great difficulties, till 1755, when he returned to

London. In 1764 he visited Ionia with Dr. Chand-
ler and William Pars, A.R.A., where he remained
for two years. He published the fruits of his travels
under the headings of ' The Antiquities of Athens,'
and 'Ionian Antiquities.' He also published a
work entitled ' Baalbec and Palmyra.' He died in
London in 1804.

REVOIL, PIERRE HENRI, a French historical
and subject painter, born at Lyons in 1776. He
came to Paris and studied under David. His
works first appeared at the Salon in 1804. In
early life he was content to shine in his native
province. He returned to his native city in 1809,
as professor of painting in the Royal Academy of
Lyons. He belonged to the school which formed
the transition between the Classicism of David
and the Romanticism of the fourth decade of the
century. The cross of the Legion of Honour was
awarded to him in 1814, and he was elected a
correspondent of the Institute in 1825. His works
are bold but mannered, and frequently over-
weighted by the accessories. He died in Paris in
1842. The following are some of his pictures :

Ais. Museum. Release of Christian Captives.

Fontainebleau. Jeanne d'Albret. 1819.
Lyons. Museum. The Tournament. 1812.

Versailles. Palace. Philip Augustus raising the

Tancred at Bethlehem. 1840.

The Chevalier Bayard at Brescia.

Mary Stuart led to Execution.

Francis I. arming his grandson Francis II.

Louis XII. at Plessis-les-Tours.



REY, ETIENNE, landscape painter, born at Lyons,
1789. was a pupil of Pillement and of Cogel. He
died in 1867. By him:

Ruins of a Eoman Portico.

REYERS, NICOLAS, painter, born at Leyden,
1719. An artist of little note, who was a pupil
of Jerome Van der My, and painted portraits and
genre pictures.

REYHER, ROBERT, an engraver, born in Berlin,
in 1838, entered the Academy in that city, and
studied under Mandel. He engraved portraits of
Beethoven, Goethe, Liszt, Chopin, Schiller, Raphael,
and Gary. His best works are, Maria Mancini,
after Mignard ; and the Countess Potocka, after
Tonci. He died in 1877, through falling into the


REYNA, FRANCISCO DE, painter, a native of
Seville, was a disciple of Francisco de Hen-era,
the elder. He had given proof of most promising
talents, in a picture of the ' Souls in Purgatory,' in
the church of All Saints, at Seville, when he died,
in the bloom of life, in 1659.

REYNELL, THOMAS, (RENNELL,) portrait painter,
born near Chudleigh in Devonshire, in 1718, was
educated at the Exeter Grammar School, but was
afterwards sent to London, where he became a
pupil of Hudson. He then returned to Exeter,
where he settled as a painter. The Duke of King-
ston offered him assistance to go to London again,
but he refused. He painted portraits, and was a
musician : but his habits were so idle and improvi-
dent that he fell very low in the world. He lived
at Dartmouth in a state of the most abject poverty
till an asylum was provided for him by the kindness
of a friend. He died at Dartmouth in 1788.

/:!. ( /.

fjlf fi/ntihli// Ay W /^'. ////// './(nirii' ///) w ///'

/TI " / i / ,

.',- 1 1*. i. t/,-f, <y f v// / 1 tt'ttt>-f . A '/


REYNOLDS, PRANCES, the sister of Sir Joshua
Reynolds, whose house she kept for many years in
Leicester Fields, was born at Plympton in 1729.
She practised as a miniaturist, and made many
copies of her brother's pictures. Frequent mention
is made of her in the literary and artistic history
of the time. On her brother's death she took a
large house in Queen Square, Westminster, where
she exhibited her own works, and where she died
in 1807.

REYNOLDS, Sir JOSHUA, P.R.A. This greatest
of all English portrait painters was born July 16,
1723, at Plympton, in Devonshire ; his father
was the Rev. Samuel Reynolds, the master of
the Grammar School of Plympton, and his mother
Theophila, the daughter of Matthew Potter, who
was one of the Potters of Iddesleigh, Devon.
The families of both his father and mother were
distinguished for their learning. He was educated
by his father, and was intended for the medical
profession, but a love of art having shown itself
at an early age, he was sent to London in 1740,
and placed under Thomas Hudson, the best-known
portrait painter of the time. That his father did
not at first approve of this course is shown by a
drawing in the possession of Lady Colomb, on
which he has written, " This is drawn by Joshua
in school out of pure idleness." Before it was
decided that he should go to London he had
already drawn many portraits of his friends and
relations, and had made his first attempts at oil
painting in a portrait of the Rev. Thomas Smart,
painted from a sketch taken in church on his
thumbnail. The picture was painted in a boat-
house on Cremyll beach on a piece of sail canvas,
with ordinary ship's paint. This, his earliest-
known picture, belongs now to Deeble Boger at
Walsdon, having been for some time in the
Edgcumbe family ; the artist was a great friend
of Dick Edgcumbe, who befriended him after he
left Hudson, which he did in 1743. On his return
to Plymouth he is said to have painted about
seventy portraits, including Philip Vanbrugh, the
Commissioner of the Dockyard from 1739 to 1753,
a series of seven portraits of the Kendall family,
for which he received about three pounds each,
one of Richard, first Lord Edgcumbe, and Coun-
cillor Bury and his wife. Reynolds returned to
London in 1744, but continued his friendship with
the Edgcumbe family, in whose house he was
introduced in 1749 to Commodore Keppel, who
offered to take him to Rome in the 'Centurion,'
which was under his command. This offer Rey-
nolds accepted, and they sailed for Lisbon on
May 11, calling at different ports afterwards.
He is said to have painted all the officers of the
garrison at Port Mahon ; if he did, these portraits
have all been lost. It was during this voyage
that he received the injury to his lip that appears
in his subsequent portraits ; his horse is said to
have fallen down a precipice with him at Minorca.
After his recovery he visited Florence and Leg-
horn, and finally settled at Rome for two years.
"While there he copied many old master pictures,
and during this time he painted several caricatures,
which practice he afterwards abandoned, since, as
Northcote says, "it must corrupt his taste as a
portrait painter." While at Rome he met many
English artists, such as Wilson and Astley, as well
as most of the connoisseurs there, who afterwards
became his friends and patrons. The note-books
of this period are most interesting, and show how

this visit influenced his future career as an artist.
They were printed in full by William Cotton in

Reynolds left Rome on May 3, 1752, and after
visiting the principal cities in Italy, he reached
Paris, where he painted the well-known portrait
of Mrs. Chambers, the wife of the famous archi-
tect ; he then returned to London, where he
arrived on October 16, 1752 Cosmo Monkhouse
says : " Greatly developed as a man and an
artist, but with two permanent physical defects,
the scar on his lip from the accident at Minorca,
and deafness contracted from the cold of the
Vatican while copying Raphael." On his re-
turn he visited Devonshire for three months,
when he painted the portrait of Dr. John Mudge
for five guineas, as well as other portraits.
He then took a portion of Sir James Thornhill's
old house at 104, St. Martin's Lane, where his
youngest sister Frances lived with him. He did
not remain there very long, and moved to 5, Great
Newport Street, where he remained until 1760.
It was in this house that he first commenced his
diary of sitters in 1755. These diaries, most of
which are now in the possession of the Royal
Academy, have been invaluable to students of
this artist's works. Unfortunately there are eight
missing (1756, '63, '74, '75, '76, '78, '83, '85) ; it is
to be hoped that they are hidden away somewhere,
and will some day be discovered.

Reynolds' first picture after he settled in London
was that of Giuseppe March!, who came to England
with him, and who remained with him until his
death. This pupil became a painter and a very
good engraver, mostly of his master's works. At
this time Reynolds painted the fine full-length
portrait of his friend Keppel, and this portrait is
said to have tended most to establish the artist's
reputation. This picture was probably presented
to the Commodore in recognition of the great
services he had rendered the artist at the critical
period of his life ; it remained in the family until
it was purchased by the Earl of Rosebery.

Reynolds about this time raised the price of a
whole-length portrait to sixty guineas, and his
sitters included all the most wealthy society
people, as well as many members of the Royal
Family. At this time his commissions so increased
that he was compelled to employ other pupils as
well as March!, Peter Toms and Thomas Beach
being the best known amongst them. His income
now reached about six thousand a year, a good
deal of which he spent on forming the splendid col-
lection of old masters that was sold after his death.

The diaries show that he was as much sought
after in society as he was professionally ; all his
early friends remained true to him, such as the
Edgcumbes and the Keppels, and he now com-
menced his literary friendships with Dr. Johnson,
Goldsmith, Murphy, Dr. Hawksworth, and others,
not forgetting David Garrick, with whom his
intimacy lasted, as it did witli the others, until
their deaths. Mr. Claude Phillips, in his 'Life of
Sir Joshua Reynolds," says : " Sir Joshua sought
somewhat less than might have been expected
the society of his brother artists and his own
kind. He by no means shunned or slighted them,
but he evidently preferred the invigorating com-
panionship of the brilliant contemporaries with
whom we have seen him associating in loving
intimacy throughout the forty years of his great



In 1760 Reynolds removed to 47, Leicester
Fields, where he continued to reside until his
death, and it was in this year that he commenced
what are called his ledgers, and which he carried
on in his own handwriting until the end. These
two volumes have been of even more value to the
student of his works than the diaries, as they
contain a pretty perfect list of all his commissions,
with the prices he received. These volumes do
not contain records of any portraits he presented
to his friends, or of his own portraits, or those
of any of his family, and he does not seem to have
charged for any of the numerous portraits of him-
self. He prohably kept another series of books
containing a list of what was owing to him, but if
so, they have been entirely lost sight of. They
were probably used by his executors or their
solicitors, and may still be reposing in Lincoln's
Inn. The house in Leicester Fields is still in
existence, and with the exception of the studios
at the back, has been very little altered since
Reynolds resided there. In the year he moved
there, the first Exhibition of the Incorporated
Society of Artists, of which Society Reynolds
was one of the first members, was held ; he
sent four pictures, including the two fine whole-
lengths of Lady Elizabeth Keppel and the
Duchess of Hamilton. To these Exhibitions he
continued to contribute until 1768, when he se-
ceded with other well-known artists on the forma-
tion of the Royal Academy, of which he was
elected the first President, and the honour of
knighthood was conferred upon him. For the
next twenty-one years he was a prolific exhibitor
at the Royal Academy, often sending as many as
sixteen works, including, during later years, many
of his most famous fancy subjects. It would be
impossible in this short article to enumerate the
portraits shown during this period, but at the end
will be found a list of what the writer considers
the finest and most important works painted by
this prolific artist, so arranged as to illustrate the
progress of his art.

In 1765 Reynolds was introduced to the Thrales
at Streatham, for which place he painted the
splendid series of portraits that were dispersed in
1816, and the following year he was elected a
member of the Dilettanti Club, and succeeded
" Athenian " Stuart as the painter to the Society
in 1769. In earlier years it was the custom for
each membsr to present his portrait to the Society,
but Sir Joshua preferred to paint his contemporaries
in groups, resulting in the splendid pair of pictures
now the property of the Society. The honorary
degree of D.C.L. was conferred upon Sir Joshua
by the University of Oxford in July 1773, and in
most of the portraits of the artist of this period
he has represented himself in the D.C.L. robes.

Sir Joshua, after being elected President, was
most energetic in organizing the Royal Academy,
together with the schools attached to it, and de-
livered his first discourse on January 2, 1769 ;
he founded the annual Academy banquet, and
advised the inviting as guests the most eminent
men of the day, and he suggested the appointment
of the honorary officers, which resulted in the
election of Dr. Johnson, Oliver Goldsmith, and
other famous men. There is no doubt that the
great amount of time he devoted to his work as
President was the cause of the perceptible diminu-
tion in the number of his sitters, but as they
decreased his fancy subjects continued to increase


more and more towards the end of his life. Mr.
Monkhouse remarks "that in one way or another
his life was now probably fuller of work than
ever, and it also seems to have been fuller of
pleasures." He attended the Literary Club at the
Turk's Head constantly, as well as the Thursday
Night Club, the Shilling Rubber Club, the Devon-
shire, and the Dilettanti, and he was often at
assemblies, masquerades, at Almack's, operas,
theatres, Marylebone Gardens, Vauxhall, and
Ranelagh, as well as innumerable dinner-parties
at his own house and at those of his friends. He
had also a villa at Richmond, where he gave
dinners on Sunday, when he was not dining with
his friend Owen Cambridge (whose name so often
appears in the diaries) and other friends in the
neighbourhood. In 1770 he paid another visit to
Devonshire, and brought back with him his niece
Offy Palmer, who lived in his house until her
marriage to Mr. Gwatkin in 1781. In 1779 Sir
Joshua painted the full-length portrait of George
III. and Queen Charlotte, now in the Royal
Academy. This pair of portraits, after the death
of Allan Ramsay the Court painter, became the
official portraits for presentation to ambassadors,
and he seems to have painted over a dozen
pairs before 1789 ; nine had then been sent
home, and there is a note in the artist's writing
that he still had seven kings and five queens on
hand either at the Royal Academy or in Leicester
Fields. In 1771 James Northcote became a pupil
of Reynolds, and remained with him for several
years ; he afterwards became his biographer.
In 1773 he was elected Mayor of Plympton,
which gave the artist great pleasure ; he cele-
brated the event by presenting the Corporation
with his portrait.

The rivalry between Reynolds, Gainsborough,
and Romney commenced in 1775, and Reynolds
is said to have spoken of the latter as "the man
in Cavendish Square." He made up the quarrel
with Gainsborough on the hitter's death-bed, but
never completed the portrait he had commenced
of him. In 1776 the artist painted and sent to
Florence his portrait, now in the Uffizi Gallery ;
the letter he sent with it is very interesting.
The great work connected with the designs for
the Oxford window was commenced in 1778, and
continued for several years afterwards ; some of
the designs were exhibited at the Royal Academy.
In 1778 the Royal Academy moved to Somerset
House, and Reynolds painted a picture of 'Design'
for the ceiling of the library. In 1783 Sir Joshua
was seized with a paralytic attack that caused
great anxiety at the time, but a visit to Bath soon
restored him to his usual health. Dr. Johnson's
death in 1784 was a great blow to the artist, who
had been his intimate friend for thirty years.
About 1788 Sir Joshua undertook to p.iiut several
Shakespeare subjects for Alderman Boydell, as
well as the large 'Infant Hercules 'for the Empress
Catherine of Russia ; these pictures were not
suited to his style of painting, and have not
added much to his reputation. The end of his
career in art was now drawing to a close, for on
July 13, 1789, his eyesight suddenly failed, and
from that time he practically ceased painting.
He, however, still continued his interest in the
Royal Academy, but resigned the Presidency in
February 1790, in consequence of a dispute con-
cerning the election of Joseph Bonomi as Professor
of Perspective, but was persuaded to resume it in


Hanfstdngl photo\ [National Gallery



the following month. In December of that year
he delivered his fifteenth and last discourse, on
which occasion a portion of the floor gave way.
Sir Joshua did not move from his seat, and con-
tinued his discourse as soon as order was restored.
He offered his collection of old masters to the
Royal Academy at a very low price, and on the
offer being refused, he exhibited them in the
Haymarket for the benefit of his old servant,
Ralph Kirkley, calling it "Ralph's Exhibition." At
the end of 1791 he became much depressed from
a fear of total blindness, and gradually became
seriously ill ; he died on Thursday evening,
February 23, 1792. Sir Joshua was buried in the
crypt of St. Paul's Cathedral on March 3, the pall-
bearers being his old friends among the nobility.
He left the bulk of his fortune to his niece, Mary
Palmer, who married the Earl of Inchiquin the
same year ; she afterwards became Marchioness of
Thomond. The executors of his will were Edmund
Burke, Edmond Malone, and Philip Metcalf, all
old friends. The first sale of the contents of his
studio took place on April 16, 1792, the auctioneer
being Mr. Greenwood. This was followed by the
sale of the old-master collection by Mr. Christie
in.March 1795 ; the remainder of his own pictures
were sold by Mr. Greenwood in April 1796. His
old-master drawings took eighteen days to disperse
in March 1798, by Mr. H. Phillips, and the balance
of oil paintings were sold by the same auctioneer
in May 1798. Those pictures that were not sold
were retained by the Marchioness of Thomond
until her death in 1821, when they were sold at
Christie's, very high prices being realized.

So much has been written concerning the art of
Sir Joshua Reynolds, that it would be superfluous
to enter into it here at any length. In his earlier
manner up to 1760 his pictures were very carefully
painted in a blue tone, glazed afterwards with
warm, transparent colours; these have often faded,
or the glaze has been removed by injudicious
cleaning. During the second period up to 1775
they are painted in colours that do not as a rule
crack, and they have not faded very much. It is
in the final stage of his painting that most of the
cracking is noticeable ; this is probably from the
many experiments he tried with the object of
getting more brilliancy. Engravings after Sir
Joshua by the greatest engravers of the eighteenth
century, published at small prices, have risen
enormously in value, one having reached over
1200. S. W. Reynolds engraved a series of
small plates which has since been carried on by
different engravers, working after the artist's death,
to the total number of over 800 plates.

The first Loan Exhibition of the works of Sir
Joshua Reynolds was held at the British Institu-
tion in 1813, and from that date until its close in

Online LibraryMichael BryanBryan's dictionary of painters and engravers (Volume 4) → online text (page 58 of 82)