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Sir Joshua Reynolds PRA, Studio Experiments in Colour and Media

Studio Experiments in Colour and Media

Sir Joshua Reynolds PRA (1723 - 1792)

RA Collection: Art

On free display in Collection Gallery

Sir Joshua Reynolds was well known among his contemporaries for his bold experimentation with painting materials and techniques. Occasionally his practice of concocting unusual mixtures of wax, oils, gums and varnishes led to problems in his finished works, with paint flaking and cracking.

Reynolds used canvases like this to test out colours and combinations. It contains over 150 colour samples, ranging from translucent glazes to thicker samples applied with a palette knife. Alongside the samples are written notations indicating the various combinations of pigments and media such as 'Orp. White Y with the Varn' (orpiment, white, yellow with the varnish) and 'Prussian Blue Cer' (Prussian blue and wax).

Object details

Studio Experiments in Colour and Media
Object type
Oil on canvas

609 mm x 509 mm x 13 mm

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
Purchased from
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