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ID number:  BIRBI-69.10
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker:  Reynolds, Sir Joshua (1723-1792)
Title / Object name:  Portrait of a young man
Object type:  Painting
Place made:  Devonport
Culture:  British
Date made:  c. 1746
Materials:  Oil on canvas
Measurements:  34.3 x 24.1 cm
Provenance:  Purchased from Sabin Galleries Ltd., December 1969, for £2,000

This portrait’s small scale has led to speculation about its function. Reynolds began his career as a portraitist in Devonport and it has been suggested that the man is a naval officer who wanted to take an image of himself to sea. The stone parapet at the front, unique in Reynolds’ work, is perhaps a sea wall. But, equally, it may have been painted for the family of a young cadet about to undertake a hazardous voyage. There is some evidence that the man was named John Herring.

1 Related People

Reynolds, Joshua

2 Related Publications

Waterhouse, E. K.

Sir Joshua Reynolds

Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery
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