The present work is a copy after a painting by Reynolds which sold at Christie's, London, 3 December 2013, lot 43, for £500,000.1 This type of portrait is an example of Reynolds’s 'fancy pictures' of the 1770s, a genre he became increasingly preoccupied with towards the end of his career. The young boy was originally identified as Edwin, the hero from The Minstrel, a poem published in 1771 by Reynolds’s friend, James Beattie – although more recently this has been questioned.
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