Main content

From: Tuesday 14.03.17
at 7:00pm
To: Tuesday 14.03.17
at 10:00pm

Experiment and Evanescence: Joshua Reynolds's painting technique


Art Workers’ Guild, 6 Queens’ Square, London, WC1N 3AT

BAPCR is hosting an event by Alexandra Gent on Joshua Reynolds

The paintings of Joshua Reynolds often present challenges for conservators. Reynolds's use of materials, such as wax and varnish, frequently led to cracking and instability. His portraits have become notorious for their faded faces, which were noted even within the artist's lifetime. This talk will draw on recent technical investigation into Reynolds's materials and technique, alongside art historical research, to give an overview of the artist's painting practice. At the same time, it will consider how Reynolds’s studio assistants and pupils were employed in Reynolds’s studio and what they knew of his experimentation.  

Alexandra Gent is a PhD candidate at the Courtauld Institute of Art, supervised by Aviva Burnstock, David Solkin and Joyce Townsend. Her thesis will examine repetition and replication in Joshua Reynolds’s studio practice. Prior to starting her doctoral research she was paintings conservator for the Wallace Collection’s Reynolds Research Project and co-curator of the exhibition Joshua Reynolds Experiments in Paint. Alexandra trained as a paintings conservator in Australia and has worked for Tate, the National Galleries of Scotland and English Heritage, as well as in private practice.

Entry is free of charge to members of the BAPCR (but please email to let Gemma know that you will be attending), and £10 for non-members. Wine and soft drinks will be available to purchase before and after the talk.

Non-members can pay for tickets in advance by:

  • Cheque (pounds sterling) – payable to the BAPCR and posted to: BAPCR, 4 Caburn Crescent, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 1NR
  • BACS transfer – NatWest, Sort code: 53 50 33, Account number: 5300 0757  
  • PayPal - You will need an existing Paypal account or you can set up a new Paypal Account via When making payment, follow the instructions online. Click on “Send money” tab. Enter when prompted (PLEASE ADD £1 TO YOUR FEE TO COVER THE PAYPAL CHARGES THAT WE INCUR)

Please email Gemma Collins, BAPCR Secretary at with your name and email address details when you pay for your tickets.

Lead Image: Public Domain