Sir Joshua Reynolds artworks bid wins funding boost

Self portrait of Sir Joshua Reynolds Image copyright Plymouth City Council
Image caption Sir Joshua Reynolds became "one of the most important artists of his generation"

A bid to return artworks by Sir Joshua Reynolds home to Plymouth has been boosted with a £326,000 lottery grant.

The Heritage Lottery Fund grant will see the return of Reynolds' first self-portrait from the mid-1740s.

Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery will also acquire a sketchbook of the artist's "Grand Tour" of Italy.

Sir Joshua, who was born in Plympton in 1723, became one of the most important artists of his generation, a gallery spokesman said.

Councillor Peter Smith, the deputy leader of Plymouth City Council, said: "Sir Joshua Reynolds is one of Plymouth's most famous historical figures.

"He created an amazing body of work and campaigned tirelessly throughout his life to raise the standing of the arts in Britain."

Sir Joshua studied in London and then established a studio in Devonport before travelling around Italy studying the Great Masters.

He became the first president of the Royal Academy, and was painter to the King, George III.

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