Free Tours on the Life & Times of Sir Joshua Reynolds

The basilica of Santo Spirito is on the Reynolds tour

In commemoration of the illustrious painter Sir Joshua Reynolds’ (1723-1792) ties to Italy, who was born 300 years ago, there will be two opportunities to discover places where he lived and frequented on the 300th anniversary year of his birth. Free guided tours will be offered on October 15 and November 12 at 10:30 am and 12:30 pm, with the meeting point in Piazza Santa Trinita. The occasion is being promoted by Florence World Heritage and Relations with UNESCO Office of the Municipality of Florence and MUS.E in collaboration with the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno and with The British Institute of Florence. The guided visit is free, but one must register in advance by emailing or texting +39 055-276-8224.

British portraitist Sir Joshua Reynolds is considered one of the most famous artists of the 18th century. He was a strong promoter of the “Grand Style,” a style in which subjects would be painted in their idealized form. When Reynolds was a boy, he studied art in London under Thomas Hudson, and an opportunity arose allowing him to train in Italy, leading him to spend time in Rome and other Italian cities between 1750 to 1752. Ten sketchbooks from his stay remain, which now belong to the British Museum. At one point, Reynolds came to Florence to admire the Old Masters and to sketch their works. Upon returning to the United Kingdom, Reynolds established his own studio. After working on portraits for years, he was one of the founders and first president of the Royal Academy of Arts in 1768. In the period following, he developed lessons on his art theory for the students of his school. Overall, Reynolds and the inspiration he found in the Italian Renaissance make him an interesting figure for the city of Florence.  (Daniel Capobianco)