Sir Joshua Reynolds, Decolonization, and the Pictorial Dialectics of Crisis

O'Quinn, Daniel
July 2018
SEL: Studies in English Literature (Johns Hopkins);Summer2018, Vol. 58 Issue 3, p673
Academic Journal
ABSTRACT This article argues that Sir Joshua Reynolds's martial portraiture from the closing year of the American War of Independence con-stitutes not only a complex diagnostic of cultural humiliation and social decay, but also an intrepid attempt to clear the ground for the emergence of representational paradigms suitable to the post- American era. American decolonization forced Britain to reassess and realign many of its conceptions of self. In Reynolds's work of the late 1770s and early 1780s, we can begin to understand what it means to be post-American. As we will see, the failure of Britain's martial efficacy not only forced Reynolds to engage with his own earlier paintings of heroic masculinity, but also allowed him to develop a critical idiom that would define his late style. By reckoning with his own and his nation's past, Reynolds found himself inventing futures that might put the American crisis in abeyance.


Related Articles

  • Master Hare.  // Magazine Antiques;Mar/Apr2014, Vol. 181 Issue 2, p59 

    An image of the portrait painting "Master Hare," by the 18th-century English artist Sir Joshua Reynolds, is presented.

  • Reynolds: Portraiture in Action. Hedquist, Valerie // Journal of British Studies;Oct2015, Vol. 54 Issue 4, p1016 

    No abstract available.

  • The rediscovery of Joshua Reynolds's Dionysius Areopagita And a re-assessment. Postle, Martin // British Art Journal;Spring2015, Vol. 15 Issue 3, p114 

    The article looks at 18th-century English painter Joshua Reynolds, focusing on his painting "Dionysius Areopagita" or "Dionysius the Areopagite," which was exhibited in 1850 and was recently rediscovered in a private collection. It notes the painting was likely made in 1770 and was based on the...

  • 'Disrobing Suky': one mistress, but two masters? Grimaldi, Nicola; Capadose, Jeremy // British Art Journal;Winter2011/2012, Vol. 12 Issue 3, p9 

    The article discusses an 18th-century family portrait of Susanna Trevelyan, known as Suky, located at Wallington Hall in England. The portrait has often been attributed to painter Thomas Gainsborough, with over-painting by Sir Joshua Reynolds completed in the 1770s. The portrait underwent...

  • 'A Picture of the Mind'. Junod, Karen // British Art Journal;Winter2011/2012, Vol. 12 Issue 3, p91 

    An essay is presented on the roles of English painter Sir Joshua Reynolds as a biographer and portraitist, using evidence from the 1797 biography "An Account of the Life and Writings of the Author Sir Joshua Reynolds," by Edmond Malone. The author compares the text to other artist biographies,...

  • Cover Page.  // Studies in Romanticism;Summer2009, Vol. 48 Issue 2, preceding p187 

    The magazine cover features a reproduction of the portrait "Mary Robinson" which was painted by Joshua Reynolds in 1783.

  • A classical source for Reynolds on the relativity of beauty. Baldwin, Barry // Notes & Queries;Jun94, Vol. 41 Issue 2, p208 

    Discusses Joshua Reynold's view on the relativity of beauty. Classical influences; Pre-Socratic Greek philosopher Xenophanes of Colophon; Clement of Alexandria.

  • Reynolds and Tertullian: A passage located. Baldwin, Barry // Notes & Queries;Jun94, Vol. 41 Issue 2, p209 

    Comments on Joshua Reynolds' work `Discourses on Art.' Location of the source of the Tertullian passage quoted by Reynolds.

  • Artfully Articulated. Goode, Stephen // Insight on the News;2/11/2002, Vol. 18 Issue 5, p4 

    Provides information on the ideas of English painter Joshua Reynolds about painting and art. Opinion on the perfection of an art; Relationship between industry and talent; Value and art of every art.


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics