Joshua Reynolds

Charles Churchill

1755
After a ten-year career in the army, retiring as lieutenant-colonel of the Foot Guards, Charles Churchill (1720-1812) went into politics, serving as a Member of Parliament from 1745 to 1761. He married the daughter of Prime Minister Robert Walpole. His ghostly face is the result of the artist’s experimentation with pigments, in this case, with the fugitive colour carmine over lead white to create flesh tones. It was an open secret that Reynolds’s colours were often unstable, but as one admirer quipped: “Even a faded picture by Reynolds will be the finest thing you can have.” Joshua Reynolds became the first president of the Royal Academy in 1768. Frame: carved wood, gilded. Britain, first half 18th century, after a French model
Title
Charles Churchill
Date
1755
Medium
Painting
Materials
oil on canvas
Dimensions
120.7 x 96.5 cm
Nationality
British
Credit line
Purchased 1909
Accession number
29

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