A statue of Sir Joshua Reynolds. By Alfred Drury, R.A., 1856-1944. 1931. Bronze.
The statue stands in the "Annenberg Courtyard" of Burlington House, off Piccadilly, London. The building is commonly known as the Royal Academy (of Arts). The wings of the building are occupied by a number of learned societies, known collectively as the "Courtyard Societies". The Royal Academy occupy the main wing of Burlington House. The work by Alfred Drury, himself a member of the RA, was erected by the RA and the Leighton Fund in 1931. It was Grade II listed in February 1970. The statue honours the artist who was a founding member of the Royal Academy, and its first president. Alfred Drury's model for it won the commission in a competition held in 1917; but it took Drury many years to complete the work.
Reynolds is shown in a rather balletic pose, standing poised in front of an unseen canvas, paintbrush raised, palette and more brushes in his left hand. Prominently placed, the bronze on its stone pedestal makes an arresting and appropriate greeting to the gallery's many visitors — including those who come for the famous Summer Exhibitions, held under the RA's auspices for more than two centuries now.