Zena Holloway Goes on the Trail of Great British Portrait Painter Sir Joshua Reynolds

Photos courtesy of Zena Holloway Inspired by lifetime painter Sir Joshua Reynolds' (1723-1792) work by London photographer Zena Hollow...

Photos courtesy of Zena Holloway


Inspired by lifetime painter Sir Joshua Reynolds' (1723-1792) work by London photographer Zena Holloway, famed for her underwater photography (click here for our earlier feature of her work), these images stem from a long-term project, which is mainly dedicated to the faces and characters of the sitters, and also integrates animals into the images in Zena's own personal interpretation of the subject.

Zena enthusiastically comments, "Having spent the last 20 years focusing completely on underwater photography these images represent something new, exciting - and most importantly 'dry' for a change."

During his lifetime, Sir Joshua Reynolds was an important figure in London's intellectual circles. He immortalised the who is who of his day and incorporated metaphoric symbols in his paintings to accentuate the qualities of his portrait sitters. This idealisation wasn't just popular amongst patrons – it was a must during this time.

Portrait sitters were incredibly vain and the only true portrait painting was considered to come from Italy or France. Sir Joshua ended up being so successful in his profession that he was appointed the first president of the recently established Royal Academy of Arts in 1768.









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