The term grand manner was given currency by Sir Joshua Reynolds and extensively discussed in his Discourses on Art – fifteen lectures delivered to students at Royal Academy between 1769 and 1790. Reynolds argued that painters should not slavishly copy nature but seek a generalised and ideal form. This ‘gives what is called the grand style to invention, to composition, to expression, and even to colouring and drapery’ (Fourth Discourse). In practice it meant drawing on the style of ancient Greek and Roman (classical) art and the Italian Renaissance masters such as Raphael.
Grand manner is an English term used widely from the eighteenth century to describe what was considered to be the highest style of art in academic theory – a style based on an idealised, classical approach