Sir Joshua ReynoldsColonel Acland and Lord Sydney: The Archers 1769

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Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723‑1792)
Colonel Acland and Lord Sydney: The Archers
Date 1769
MediumOil paint on canvas
Dimensionsunconfirmed: 2360 x 1800 mm
Acquisition Purchased (Building the Tate Collection fund) with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, Tate Members, the Art Fund (with a contribution from the Wolfson Foundation) and other donors 2005
On display at Tate Britain
Room: 1760


This large double portrait depicts on a life-size scale two young aristocrats, Dudley Alexander Sydney Cosby, Lord Sydney (1732–1774), shown on the left, and Colonel John Dyke Acland (1746-1778) leaping forward on the right. Dressed in quasi-historical clothing invented by the artist, they are mimicking a medieval or Renaissance hunt; the dead game they leave in their trail underlining their noble blood and aristocratic right to hunt. The painting celebrates the men’s friendship by linking it to an imaginary chivalric past, when young lords pursued ‘manly’ activities together against a backdrop of ancient forest… (read more)

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