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ID number:  BIRBI-70.1
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker:  Reynolds, Sir Joshua (1723-1792)
Title / Object name:  Portrait of the Rev. William Beele
Object type:  Painting
Place made:  Devonport
Culture:  British
Date made:  about 1748
Materials:  Oil on canvas
Measurements:  76.2 x 63.5 cm
Provenance:  Purchased from Sabin Galleries Ltd., December 1970, for £2,500

William Beele (1704-1757) was appointed a naval chaplain in 1727 and he was stationed at Devonport where this portrait was painted. He is shown half-length, framed by an oval-shaped stone niche which creates the illusion that we encounter him by chance. The artist has slightly enlarged the sitter’s features, increasing the work’s expressive power.
Reynolds painted this portrait before his trip to Italy (1749-52), in the earliest stages of a highly successful career which included the presidency of the Royal Academy.

1 Related People

Reynolds, Joshua

1 Related Publications

Waterhouse, E. K.

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