Grand manner in England, Tate Britain

Grand manner is an English term used widely from the eighteenth century to describe what was considered to be the highest style of art in academic theory – a style based on an idealised, classical approach

The term grand manner was given currency by Sir Joshua Reynolds and extensively discussed in his Discourses on Art – fifteen lectures delivered to students at Royal Academy between 1769 and 1790. Reynolds argued that painters should not slavishly copy nature but seek a generalised and ideal form. This ‘gives what is called the grand style to invention, to composition, to expression, and even to colouring and drapery’ (Fourth Discourse). In practice it meant drawing on the style of ancient Greek and Roman (classical) art and the Italian Renaissance masters such as Raphael.

Grand manner was strictly used for history painting, but Reynolds adapted it very successfully to portraiture, inventing the high art portrait.

King Lear Weeping over the Dead Body of Cordelia, James Barry
Cleombrotus Ordered into Banishment by Leonidas II, King of Sparta, Benjamin West
Mrs Woodhull, Johan Zoffany
Lady Bampfylde, Sir Joshua Reynolds
Three Ladies Adorning a Term of Hymen, Sir Joshua Reynolds
Mr and Mrs William Lindow, George Romney
Ariel on a Bat’s Back, Henry Singleton
Titania and Bottom, Henry Fuseli
Colonel Acland and Lord Sydney: The Archers, Sir Joshua Reynolds
The Golden Age, Benjamin West
Pylades and Orestes Brought as Victims before Iphigenia, Benjamin West

Tate Britain

Tate Britain is an executive non-departmental public body and an exempt charity. Its mission is to increase the public’s enjoyment and understanding of British art from the 16th century to the present day and of international modern and contemporary art

Tate Britain is the national gallery of British art from 1500 to the present day As such, it is the most comprehensive collection of its kind in the world.

The main display spaces show the permanent collection of historic British art, as well as contemporary work It has rooms dedicated to works by one artist.