9 March to 8 May 2018
When the Royal Academy of Arts was founded in 1768, it elected Sir Joshua Reynolds – then England’s most prominent painter – as its first President. As part of a programme of events around the UK to mark 250 years of the Royal Academy, we celebrate Reynolds as artist and collector. The display brings together the four portraits by him in the Barber collection, which span his entire career, with a number of works the artist owned. These include a recently conserved painting, Head of a Woman, which Reynolds believed to be a portrait by Rubens of his wife – some of the secrets of which have been revealed by recent conservation. Also featured are two fine drawings: the recently acquired Musicians, by Agostino Tassi, displayed here for the first time, and a fascinating figure study by Tintoretto.