The Easel

Painting for Pleasure

It’s just as well that Gainsborough was a great portrait painter – his interpersonal relationships were often lamentable. One of the many he quarreled with was Joshua Reynolds, the Royal Academy president. Friction arose not just from rivalry but also different artistic styles. As one critic notes “Where Reynolds would paint you a portrait full of classical allusions and gravitas, Gainsborough would show you at ease and full of sparkle.”