Portrait of Colonel Vernon / A Gentleman in Armour

Joshua Reynolds1757-1760

Museo de Arte de Ponce

Museo de Arte de Ponce
Ponce, Puerto Rico

The pose of the sitter in this painting is probably derived from half-length engravings of a portrait by 17th-century court painter Anthony van Dyck, a key figure in the development of British portraiture before Joshua Reynolds’ time. Dressed in a suit of armour and looking over his shoulder, Colonel Vernon transmits an air of cold, elegant detachment. His ghostly pale face is in fact an accident – Reynolds liked experimenting with new pigments, and some of his pink flesh tones faded even during the lifetime of the people he portrayed. The highlights on the shiny steel plate are rendered in very free, impasto brushstrokes.


  • Title: Portrait of Colonel Vernon / A Gentleman in Armour
  • Creator: Sir Joshua Reynolds
  • Creator Lifespan: 1723/1760
  • Creator Nationality: British
  • Date Created: 1757-1760
  • Location Created: England
  • Physical Dimensions: 35 11/16 × 27 9/16 in. (90.6 × 70 cm)
  • Type: painting
  • Rights: Museo de Arte de Ponce. The Luis A. Ferré Foundation, Inc.
  • Medium: oil on canvas

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