Burying Sir Joshua Reynolds

TUE, SEP 27, 2005 (50:46)

Richard Wendorf discusses his new book on British art in the 18th and 19th centuries, an experiment in cultural history that combines analysis of specific artistic objects with an exploration of the cultural conditions in which they were created. In a lecture titled “After Sir Joshua” presented at the Athenæum eight years ago, Richard Wendorf investigated Sir Joshua Reynolds’ legacy among the biographers, painters, and writers who followed him. In “Burying Sir Joshua,” Wendorf provides an illustrated analysis of the various cultural factors that made the preparation for Reynolds’ funeral in 1792 so difficult. Drawing on rarely seen archival material in the Hyde Collection at the Houghton Library, Wendorf charts the day-by-day events involving not only the recently deceased first president of the Royal Academy, but the artist Benjamin West, the architect Sir William Chambers, and the politician and writer Edmund Burke as well. “Burying Sir Joshua” is the final Athenæum lecture based on Wendorf’s new book, After Sir Joshua: Essays on British Art and Cultural History.

Boston Athenaeum
Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work Series