Richard Burke (1758-1794) son of Edmund Burke
About the work
This is a small copy by an unknown artist after the original three-quarter-length portrait of Richard Burke, who sat to Reynolds in 1782. Reynolds’s original is in the Fitzwilliam Collection. The original work is an intimate portrait in which Reynolds has captured the sensitive nature of the sitter, who averts his eyes away from the spectator, ostensibly lost in troubled thought. Richard Burke was the only surviving son of the statesman, essayist and orator Edmund Burke; another son had died in infancy. Edmund Burke was a friend of Reynolds, who had earlier painted portraits of both him and his wife.
About the artist
Joshua Reynolds was the dominant artistic personality during the age of George III. He was born in Plympton, Devon. From 1750 to 1752 he studied the work of the Old Masters in Rome. Reynolds returned via Florence and Paris, and settled in London in 1753. In 1759 he painted a portrait of the future king, George, Prince of Wales (Royal Collection). After George’s accession the following year, Reynolds was dismayed to learn that Allan Ramsay had been made Principal Painter to the King. This marked the beginning of increasing hostility between Reynolds and the King. Nonetheless, by 1760 Reynolds had established himself as the leading portraitist. He became President of the Royal Academy in 1768 and was knighted the following year.
Sir Joshua, (after) Reynolds
- Richard Burke (1758-1794) son of Edmund Burke
- Oil on canvas
- height: 35.50 cm, width: 30.50 cm
- Purchased from Sir Bruce Ingram, 1963
- Collection of journalist and newspaper editor Sir Bruce Stirling Ingram (1877-1963); from whom purchased by the Ministry of Works in 1963
- GAC number