THE original biographical material on the subject of Reynolds was supplied by his own contemporaries. His friend Malone wrote a valuable Memoir (1804), and his pupil Northcote furnished the first biography of the painter, the Life of Reynolds in two volumes published in 1813. A half century later (1865) was published the most comprehensive work on Reynolds in two large volumes by C. R. Leslie and T. Taylor. At about the same time (1866) appeared a book by F. G. Stephens, "English Children as painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds."

All these books have been long out of print, and there are now but two books of reference generally available. "Sir Joshua Reynolds," by Claude Phillips (1894), is a small volume, but it gives a fairly complete summary of the painter's works, with valuable critical comments. Sir Walter Armstrong's large and richly illustrated work "Sir Joshua Reynolds" (1900) treats the subject exhaustively, and contains a complete descriptive catalogue and directory of Reynolds's works—portraits and subject pictures—arranged in alphabetical order.

There is an immense bibliography of memoirs of the period of George III., and such books throw an interesting light upon the lives of many of Reynolds's sitters. Some of the most valuable are Horace Walpole's "Letters," Fanny Burney's "Diary," Mrs. Piozzi's "Memoirs," and Wraxall's "Memoirs."

In addition to these, Boswell's incomparable "Life of Johnson" presents a series of vivid pictures of the life of the period, and contains many anecdotes of the friendship between Reynolds and the great lexicographer.

Reynolds's lectures and writings fill two volumes of the Bohn Library. Of these the twelve discourses delivered before the Royal Academy are the most valuable, and have been reprinted in various editions. The most recent is that of 1891, with notes and a biographical introduction by E. G. Johnson. Intended as means of instruction to beginners in painting, these lectures deal with general principles rather than with practical technique, and are not to be taken as expository in any measure of Reynolds's own art.