Reynolds and Detachment
The art historian Nikolaus Pevsner examines the very English contradiction at the heart of the work of portrait painter Sir Joshua Reynolds, in his third Reith lecture.
This year's Reith lecturer is Dr Nikolaus Pevsner, the German-born British scholar of history of art and architecture, and author of the county guide series, The Buildings of England (1951–74). In this series, Pevsner explores the qualities of art which he regards as particularly English, as illustrated in the works of several English artists, and what they say about the English national character.
In his third lecture, Dr Pevsner examines the work of the portrait painter Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792), and argues that the far-reaching contrast between his promotion of painting in the Grand Manner, and how he actually painted, is eminently English.