pastnow

On May 13 1813, the Observer publishes a review of the exhibition of the works of Sir Joshua Reynolds at the British Institution.

Genius, like Egypt’s Monarchs, timely wise
Constructs its own memorial ere it dies.

Never has it fallen to the lot of genius in this country to be so highly honoured as in the person of Sir Joshua Reynolds. Surrounded and admired, during a long life, by all that was splendid in opulence, or that was dignified in rank, all that was lovely in beauty, all that was powerful in talents, all that was estimable in virtue—his death was universally felt to be a national calamity, an unexampled respect was paid to his memory, he was followed to the grave by the most noble and distinguished individuals in the land, and the metropolis assumed an exterior of grief, which, until that period, had been reserved for royalty…

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