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This is a study of the celebrated artist’s model, George White. Reynolds had just discovered him in the early 1770s and went on to use him in many of his history paintings. His roles included St Joseph, a Renaissance pope, and an Italian nobleman. White was also a popular model at the Royal Academy’s life classes because of his powerful muscular physique, which made him look like the idealised figures in classical sculpture and Renaissance painting. He was also the model for Nathaniel Hone’s painting, The Conjuror, which is on display in this room.

May 2007