|Volume 35 of the Technical Bulletin is a special edition dedicated to the paintings of Joshua Reynolds in the National Gallery and the Wallace Collection.
The material complexities of Reynolds’s work have been the central point of interest behind an imaginative and forward-looking research project organised by The Wallace Collection, begun in November 2010 and concluded in 2014; it was designed to study and analyse as fully as possible the 12 paintings by Sir Joshua Reynolds in the collection at Hertford House, Manchester Square. The generous support of the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies of British Art has made the project possible. Other Benefactors of the Wallace Collection have significantly contributed towards it.
Although the National Gallery possesses fewer paintings by Reynolds in its permanent collection – five in all – these span an interesting and representative period of the painter’s career, from Captain Robert Orme (NG681) of 1756 to Lord Heathfield of Gibraltar (NG111), not exhibited until 1788. Further technical study of these pictures has taken place in order to integrate and compare the results of examination and analysis of the National Gallery pictures with the data acquired for the Wallace Collection paintings, which cover an equally long time span, 1759–88, in Reynolds’s career.
As in all survey studies of the work of one painter, the results are inevitably enriched and deepened the more examples that are included in the total, so we believe that this collaborative programme of research, the results of which are recorded fully in this Bulletin, will be of particular value to all those concerned with understanding (and preserving) the work of Sir Joshua Reynolds and his imperfect but spectacular techniques of painting.
Editor; National Gallery Technical Bulletin
NG2077: Sir Joshua Reynolds, Lady Cockburn and her Three Eldest Sons, 1773, Canvas, (141.5 x 113 cm)