"Boy with a Drawing in his Hand"
Before Treatment


Sir Joshua Reynolds:

Original, Copy, or Studio Version

In May of 2007, I was offered a painting for treatment by the Flint Institute of Arts in Michigan. The painting was attributed to Sir Joshua Reynolds. Attributions to Reynolds are complicated by the fact that he routinely painted only the hands and faces on many of his portraits, employing assistants to fill in the landscapes, the clothes, and the details. In his 1819 Memoirs of the Life of Sir Joshua Reynolds, Joseph Farrington states, "The school [workshop] of Sir Joshua resembled a manufactory, in which the young men who were sent to him for tuition were chiefly occupied in copying portraits, or assisting in draperies and preparing grounds."(1)
In 2000, David Mannings and Martin Postle published their two-volume, 1,200-page Sir Joshua Reynolds: A Complete Catalogue of His Paintings. The difficulty in preparing the entries cannot be overstated. Copies of Reynolds's paintings originating from his studio and those by other artists during and after his lifetime explains Mannings's acknowledgment, "The word 'original' has largely been avoided in the catalogue."(2) The catalogue raisonné listed the Flint painting as a possible copy of a lost original. Using art historical research, examination techniques, treatment findings, X-rays, and inductive reasoning, I was able to discover the painting's true origins.

At the bottom of each page, a link will open the next page. From this page, Table of Contents, the next link is Biography, located under Home, at the bottom of the page.
  Table of Contents  
  Page 1:  Biography
    Sir Joshua Reynolds
  Page 2: Reynolds's Fancy Pictures
  Page 3: "The Net-Boy"
  Page 4: Catalogue Entry
  Page 5: Examination
  Page 6: Preliminary Evaluation
  Page 7: Treatment
  Page 8: A Re-Examination
  Page 9: A Re-Evaluation
  Page 10: Provenancial Review
  Page 11: The X-rays
  Page 12: The Discourses
  Page 13: Final Thoughts
  Page 14: Acknowledgments
  Page 15: Bibliography
(1) Farrington, Joseph. Memoirs of the Life of Sir Joshua Reynolds. London. 1819. 2005 Edition. Pallas Athene, London. p.91.
(2) Mannings, David and Postle, Martin. Sir Joshua Reynolds: A Complete Catalogue of His Paintings. Yale University Press, New Haven and London. 2000. p.7.


Table of Contents, Biography


Barry Bauman Conservation
Contact: Mr. Barry Bauman
1122 N. Jackson Ave., River Forest, IL. 60305
Ph.(708)771-0382  Fax.(708)771-1532