Joshua Reynolds is most famous as a painter and became the most famous in the country when he was made president of the Royal Academy. He made his reputation from painting the famous personages and naval commanders at what was called Plymouth Dock but is better known as Devonport. Through the Edgecumbe's he met Augustus Keppel and joined him on a 3 year voyage to the Mediterranean visiting colonies such as Gibraltar and Minorca.
His role as a portrait painter and president of the Royal Academy put him in touch with the greatest politicians, generals and soldiers of his era. In many ways he became the primary chronicler of the British during the crucial years of imperial expansion in the eighteenth century.
Empire in Your Backyard: Plymouth Article | Significant Individuals