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S.A. Bent, comp. Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men. 1887.

Sir Joshua Reynolds

  • [A distinguished English portrait-painter; born in Devonshire, July 16, 1723; settled in London, 1746; president of the Royal Academy, 1768, and delivered a course of lectures on painting; died February, 1792.]
  • The human face is my landscape.

  • Saying that he did not enjoy the scenery of Richmond.
  • Polite behavior and a refined address, like good pictures, make the least show to ordinary eyes.

  • But Queen Isabella of Spain said, “Whosoever hath a good presence and a good position carries continual letters of recommendation.”
  • Grandeur is composed of straight lines; gentleness and elegance, of serpentine lines.

    Simplicity is an exact medium between too little and too much.

    I thank you, sir, for bringing me off with flying colors.

  • To a gentleman who had said, “Reynolds’s tints are admirable, but his colors fly.” Joseph Vernet, a distinguished French painter, replied to Voltaire’s praise of his colors as brilliant and durable, “My colors are not so durable as your ink.”