Lecture | Reynolds, Replication and Restoration

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on January 11, 2014

From The Institute of Conservation (ICON). . .

Alexandra Gent | Reynolds, Replication and Restoration:
Some Results from the Wallace Collection Reynolds Research Project
Grand Robing Room, Freemason’s Hall, 60 Great Queen Street, London 27 February 2014


Joshua Reynolds, The Strawberry Girl, 1772–73
(London: Wallace Collection)

The four-year Wallace Collection Reynolds Research Project is funded by The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and the Wallace Collection’s Benefactors and donors. The Project will investigate Reynolds’ techniques and materials by examining twelve of his paintings in the Collection. The project is a collaboration between the Wallace Collection and the Conservation and Scientific Departments at the National Gallery.

The Project’s recent investigations have helped develop a better understanding of two elements of Reynolds’s practice: replication of images and the restoration of paintings. This talk will draw on historical sources coupled with technical analysis of paintings to explore these activities in Reynolds’s busy studio.

It is a well-known that Reynolds’s studio practice incorporated the production of copies. Often made by students or copyists, there is, however, anecdotal evidence Reynolds himself sometimes worked simultaneously on more than one version of the same subject; The Strawberry Girl may be one such painting. Technical analysis of the Wallace Collection’s Strawberry Girl will be discussed in relation to Reynolds’s own technical notes and contemporary accounts of his practice, together with technical analysis of Tate’s Age of Innocence, which overlies another version of the Strawberry Girl.

The Wallace Collection’s portrait of Baltasar Carlos in Black and Silver, was owned by Reynolds and is thought to have been restored by him. The portrait’s technical analysis will be presented showing how its technique relates to that of Velazquez, what can be revealed about Reynolds’s restoration of the painting and how this compares to the analysis of Reynolds’s materials.

Alexandra Gent joined the Wallace Collection in December 2010 as Paintings Conservator for the Reynolds Research Project. She trained as a paintings conservator at The University of Canberra, Australia, graduating with a Bachelor of Applied Science in the Conservation of Cultural Materials in 1999. Since coming to the UK in 2000 she has been employed by English Heritage, Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland, as well as private studios in London and Oxfordshire. She is an accredited member of Icon and has a Masters in Culture, Policy and Management from City University London (2008).

Venue: In the Grand Robing Room at Freemason’s Hall, 60 Great Queen Street London WC2B 5AZ. Close to both Covent Garden and Holborn Tube Stations. Doors open at 6pm. Talk 6.30–8pm. Tickets: Icon members: £10, non-members: £15. Free wine and cheese including in price of ticket. Please register by sending your name and stating if you are an Icon member. Your name must be on the security list no later than Tuesday, 25th February 2014. RSVP Clare Finn +44 20 7937 1895 or finnclare@aol.com.

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