300 Years of Joshua Reynolds: The Painter & the Painted
The Art Newspaper lauds Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792), the founding president of the Royal Academy of Arts, as the “the preferred portraitist of the 18th century’s ‘great and good’.” Reynolds portraits are ubiquitous in English country houses and feature heavily in the collection of the National Trust. As galleries and museums worldwide commemorate Reynolds’ 300th birth Anniversary, the National Trust is hosting an exhibition at Saltram.
This exhibition, running until October 31, pays homage to the artist’s deep-rooted connection with the Parker family during the 18th century. However, the NT’s collection transcends a singular household. Known for inventive compositions and capturing subjects’ essences, Reynolds’ portraits exemplify his exceptional talent. Today, the NT cares for an extensive Reynolds’ collection at their properties, including 76 oil paintings, 607 print copies, and 77 written works. The NT’s unwavering commitment to preserving these treasures is evident this year, with several portraits undergoing meticulous conservation at the Royal Oak Conservation Studio.
Senior National Trust Curator, John Chu, will lecture to Royal Oak members on the expansive Reynolds Collection safeguarded by the National Trust. Mr. Chu will discuss some portraits’ restoration at the ROF studio and he will also explore Reynolds life and his enduring legacy
John Chu, Senior Curator of Pictures and Sculpture/ Senior Curator for Midlands, National Trust
John Chu was appointed Senior Curator of Pictures and Sculpture/Senior Curator for Midlands at the National Trust, UK in 2021. He joined the NT in 2015 as Assistant Curator of Pictures and Sculpture and worked on exhibitions at Osterley, Powis Castle, and Basildon Park among other properties. He also worked on permanent re-displays of state rooms at The Vyne, Hampshire and Knole, Kent. He graduated from Cambridge University and received a Master of Arts and Ph.D. from Courtauld Institute of Art, London University. He was a visiting lecturer from University of Reading and an Associate Lecturer at Courtauld Institute of Art. He was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at The Paul Mellon Center for Studies in British Art.