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Jonathan Richardson self portrait

Jonathan Richardson

(1667-1745)
Jonathan Richardson was one of the most significant and influential thinkers of the English Enlightenment.

Biography

Jonathan Richardson was one of the most significant and influential thinkers of the English Enlightenment. An extremely hardworking man, Richardson was an eminent expert on and collector of Old Master Drawings as well as being considered by his contemporaries to be one of the most prominent London portrait painters on the day. His Self-Portrait shown here is one of the most enigmatic and significant works of his oeuvre as evidenced by its inclusion as the frontispiece to Gibson-Wood’s seminal scholarly text on Richardson’s life and work.

A friend of artist Sir James Thornhill (1675-1734), the painter responsible for the decoration of the Painted Hall at Greenwich and the Dome of St Paul’s Cathedral, Richardson was an eminent theorist on artistic matters, no doubt influenced in part by his close friendship with Thornhill who was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1723. Richardson published his views on painting and his sketches for historical works are often accompanied by detailed historical research and theoretical points of view concerning composition. His scholarship was well-known and he was very much a modern polymath in respect of his academic pursuits.

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Jonathan Richardson was one of the most significant and influential thinkers of the English Enlightenment. An extremely hardworking man, Richardson was an eminent expert on and collector of Old Master Drawings as well as being considered by his contemporaries to be one of the most prominent London portrait painters on the day. His Self-Portrait shown here is one of the most enigmatic and significant works of his oeuvre as evidenced by its inclusion as the frontispiece to Gibson-Wood’s seminal scholarly text on Richardson’s life and work.

A friend of artist Sir James Thornhill (1675-1734), the painter responsible for the decoration of the Painted Hall at Greenwich and the Dome of St Paul’s Cathedral, Richardson was an eminent theorist on artistic matters, no doubt influenced in part by his close friendship with Thornhill who was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1723. Richardson published his views on painting and his sketches for historical works are often accompanied by detailed historical research and theoretical points of view concerning composition. His scholarship was well-known and he was very much a modern polymath in respect of his academic pursuits.

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500 Years of British Art