|Artist||William Ward after Sir Joshua Reynolds|
|Dimensions||Image: 168 x 204 mm. Plate: 202 x 234 mm. 335 x 337 mm.|
Ward's mezzotint follows Sir Joshua Reynolds' painting which was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1777. The scene shows a dandy offering the gypsy palm-reader the hand of his sweetheart, who seems amused and embarrassed at the situation.
Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792) was one of the most important figures of the eighteenth century art world. He was the first President of the Royal Academy and Britain's leading portrait painter. Through a series of lectures on the Discourses on Art at the Royal Academy he defined the style later known as the Grand Manner, an idealised Classical aesthetic. He had a profound impact on the theory and practice of art and helped to raise the status of portrait painting into the realm of fine art. A flamboyant socialite, Reynolds used his social contacts to promote himself and advance his career becoming one of the most prominent portrait painters of the period.