The Life of Sir Joshua Reynolds, Ll.D., F.R.S., F.S.A., etc., Late President of the Royal Academy 2 Volume Set: Comprising Original Anecdotes of Many Distinguished Persons, His Contemporaries, and a Brief Analysis of His `Discourses'
A fellow Devonian, James Northcote (1746-1831) was an admirer and pupil of Sir Joshua Reynolds, whose two-volume biography he published in 1813-15. Reissued here is the 'revised and augmented' second edition of 1818. Northcote is self-deprecating as to his fitness for the task, but claims that a worthy biography of a great artist can be written only by another artist, and his close personal knowledge of his subject and the circle in which Reynolds moved gives him insights, as well as providing anecdotes, which would not be available to a more 'professional' author. Volume 1, covering the first fifty years of Reynolds' life, includes accounts of his development as an artist, his growing fame, and the founding of the Royal Academy. Volume 2 covers the remainder of Reynolds' life, with a description of his elaborate funeral and various assessments of his work.