Artist. He was an English artist noted as the leading portrait artist of his era. As an influential 18th-Century London painter, he specialized in portraits and promoting the "Grand Style" of painting. He started his career as an apprentice to the portraitist Thomas Hudson, then traveled to Italy in 1749, to study classical painting and sculpture, which is where he developed his style. His portrait subjects included Samuel Johnson, David Garrick, the Duchess of Devonshire, Horace Walpole, the youngest son of the prime minister, Lord Heathfield Governor of Gibraltar and the portrait of Lord Heathfield in 1787. He was the first President of the Royal Academy and was Knighted by King George III as Britain's status of portraiture. He became the subject of Nathaniel Hone the Elder's 1775 satirical painting "The Conjurer," which gave hint to the 52-year-old Reynolds' alluding romance with the younger artist Angelica Kauffman. With Hone being a turbulent founding member of the Royal Academy, this was not his first painting that caused scandal at the academy but the most remembered. Today, "The Conjurer" is on display at the National Gallery of Ireland. He died at age 68 in London, England.
Bio by: John "J-Cat" Griffith