Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Portrait of a Young Woman 1780s

Philip Reinagle 

Portrait of a Young Woman, Philip Reinagle
Oil on canvas
18th Century
24 x 20 inches 60 x 52 cm
Philip Reinagle was born in Edinburgh, but by the 1770s had moved to London where he received a solid grounding in portraiture in the studio of Allan Ramsay, his chief function being the repetition of royal portraits. In 1773 he exhibited at the Royal Academy, where he continued to show pictures until six years before his death. His range was considerable, and though he is now best known as a sporting painter this was a late development in his career, and before 1800 he practised solely as a portraitist. After his training in the manner of Ramsay he stayed in Norwich for two years from 1780, where he was able to absorb the more modern style of Henry Walton.

Reinagle was plainly aware throughout his career of developments in contemporary taste. The influences in this present portrait of c.1790 are less those of Walton than of Reinagle's fellow Academicians Romney and, perhaps, Hoppner. The characterisation, however, and thickly-treated hair are distinctively Reinagle's own and offer a refreshingly naturalistic alternative to the more formal characterisations of the period.
Philip Mould Ltd, 18-19 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5LU.Copyright Philip Mould Ltd.