Works included in this catalogue
Reynolds distinguished himself not only as a fine portrait-painter, but also as a precursor of the modern arts bureaucrat, especially as foundation President of the British Royal Academy from 1768 until his death. His Discourses, delivered to the Academy between 1769 and 1790, document his classicist ideals.
After 1904, the NGV acquired several significant examples of his portraits, as well as various other prints after his paintings.
Several significant early publications on Reynolds were among the first books purchased for the Melbourne Public Library (as catalogued in 1857 and 1861). These included the 4-volume set of engravings of his works, listed above, and several other titles noted in Appendix: Other significant books acquired for the Melbourne Public Library to 1861.
For the NGV’s current holdings of Reynolds’ work, see Hoff NGV (1995), pp.238-41 and https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/explore/collection/artist/1195/. For his Discourses, see the modern edition by Robert Wark, New Haven: Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, 1975