Reynolds's portraiture was powerfully informed by the work of artists – such as Rembrandt and Titian – famous for their dramatic management of light and shade in their work. This gallery reveals the range of ways in which Reynolds manipulates the interplay of light and shadow – something known as chiaroscuro – to convey the character of his sitters and to create distinctive kinds of atmosphere and narrative in his paintings. .


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Industry and Idleness (Plate 11)
Industry and Idleness (Plate 12)
March of the Guards
All images © British Library

1.Samuel William Reynolds I after Sir Joshua Reynolds, Self-Portrait, 1795.
2.Richard Houston after Joshua Reynolds, Right Honorable Charles Lord Cathcart, 1770.
3.John Watts after Sir Joshua Reynolds, Joseph Baretti, 1780..
4.Samual Arlent Edwards After Sir Joshua Reynolds, Mrs Richard Bennet Lloyd, 1876-1938