Technical Bulletin 35

Technical Bulletin 35


The National Gallery Technical Bulletin is a unique record of research carried out at the National Gallery. Drawing on the combined expertise of curators, conservators and scientists, it brings together a wealth of information about artists’ materials, practices and techniques.

The painting techniques of the great society painter Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723–1792), first president of the Royal Academy, are notorious for their unstable mixtures of materials, particularly in his paint media. Reynolds’s spirited response to his critics – and some disappointed clients – that ‘all good pictures crack’ reveals a problematic technique that manifested itself during his lifetime.

The legacy of Reynolds’s unsound painting practice is a challenge to conservators who use great caution in treating these vulnerable paintings. This special issue of the National Gallery Technical Bulletin is the first thorough account of Reynolds’s painting materials and techniques, resulting from a multidisciplinary research collaboration between the National Gallery and the Wallace Collection. The publication of this Technical Bulletin anticipates the exhibition Joshua Reynolds: Experiments in Paint to be held at the Wallace Collection, London (12 March–7 June 2015).

Volume 35 Contents

  • Introduction and Acknowledgements, Ashok Roy
  • Joshua Reynolds at the National Gallery, Susan Foister
  • Joshua Reynolds at the Wallace Collection, Lucy Davis
  • Practice Makes Imperfect: Joshua Reynolds’s Painting Technique, Alexandra Gent and Ashok Roy
  • Catalogue, Alexandra Gent, Rachel Morrison and Ashok Roy
  • Timeline
  • Notes and Bibliography

All previous volumes of Technical Bulletins are viewable on the National Gallery website free of charge

Product Code 1038962
Colour Illustrations 230
Dimensions 297 x 210 mm
Format Paperback
GTIN 9781857095562
ISBN 9781857095562
Pages 128
Published Jan 2015
Publisher National Gallery Company
Series Editor Ashok Roy
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