Young Man with a Flute
George Romney ( British, 1734 - 1802 )
- late 1760s
With its bright, well-rubbed mahogany table and its precise description of a traverso flute with silver rings, this halflength portrait is a very delicate and elegant representation of a young amateur musician. This painting has recently been reattributed to the famous British portrait painter George Romney. The fabrics, the golden embroideries, and the face of the young man are characteristic features of early works by the artist. It was painted in the late 1760s when Romney was still traveling in the country to gain commissions and patronage. Although never a member of the Royal Academy, he became the main rival for Sir Joshua Reynolds. Romney aspired to be a history painter, but he was never able to give up his career as portrait painter, which gained him fame and fortune.