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Reynolds portraits for the Royal Academy, 1780

These magnificent mezzotints reproduce the pair of paintings that Reynolds executed for the new rooms of the Royal Academy at Somerset House. In his self-portrait Reynolds, the President of the Academy, proclaims himself as the heir of the old masters, with references to Van Dyck in the pose and Rembrandt in the lighting, and a bust of Michelangelo by his side. Chambers, the architect of Somerset House and Treasurer of the Academy, is shown as if interrupted in the act of drawing a plan on the table before him.