(BINDINGS - BAYNTUN). (REYNOLDS, SIR JOSHUA). LESLIE, CHARLES ROBERT [and] TOM TAYLOR.
LIFE AND TIMES OF SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS.(London: John Murray, 1865). 222 x 140 mm (8 3/4 x 5 1/2"). Four volumes.. FIRST EDITION.
VERY HANDSOME CHESTNUT BROWN CRUSHED MOROCCO BY BAYNTUN (signed on front turn-in), covers gilt with interlocking strapwork frame and large central lozenge, lancet corner ornaments, spines gilt in compartments of similar design, turn-ins with gilt French fillets and palmette cornerpieces, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. Housed in a brown buckram-covered slipcase (upper seams of the slipcase neatly reinforced with library tape). EXTRA-ILLUSTRATED WITH 194 PLATES, 40 of them in color, in addition to the 11 called for. Spines lightly but uniformly sunned to a pleasing honey brown, one leaf with small, neat repair to fore edge, other trivial imperfections, but A LOVELY SET IN VERY FINE CONDITION, the leaves and plates fresh, clean, and bright, and the binding nearly pristine.
This exhaustive biography of the great British painter runs to nearly 1,200 pages and is replete with illustrations of works by Reynolds himself as well as reproductions of works by earlier artists who influenced him; also here are depictions of the stately homes and London locales Reynolds frequented, portraits of his friends and contemporaries, and even a photograph of his paintbox and palette. Additionally, there are lists, arranged by year and month, of everyone who sat for the artist, as well as accounts of the payment he received for his pictures. According to DNB, this work, "which contained a great deal of contextual matter on Reynolds' friendships and the politics of the period, reasserted the artist's position as a central figure in the Georgian cultural milieu." Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-92) spent several years in Italy when he was in his twenties, seeking inspiration from the Italian masters and studying gradations of light in Venice. Returning to London, he soon became the leading portrait painter of his era, mixing with the loftiest members of society. Reynolds was also a witty conversationalist who greatly delighted in the company of Samuel Johnson and the actor David Garrick, bosom friends with whom he spent many an hour at the Mitre Tavern. (ST11462a-086)