Sir Joshua Reynolds on his influence on younger artists.
The painter writes here to art collector, patron and banker William Roscoe (1753–1831), "Mr. Pack called on me a few days since to desire I would lend him a picture to copy for his improvement. About three or four year ago I lent him many for that purpose, and he used to bring me his works from life, in order to be told their faults. As he was only one of many that did the same, I did not recollect his name, nor am I sure I ever knew it. If all those whom I have endeavoured to help forward by lending them pictures and telling them their faults should do me the honour of calling themselves my scholars, I should have the greatest school that ever Painter had. If those young Painters think that from such an intercourse they have a right to say they are my scholars, they are very welcome, I have no kind of objection to it. There is certainly no great harm done in their endeavouring to produce a prejudice in their favour. If I may without vanity suppose this to be the reason of their wishing such an opinion to be entertained in the Country, and as you see, it is not entirely without some foundation."
The last sentence most likely refers to to Reynolds's appointment that year (1784) as Painter to the King.