Full image caption
Portraits of their Majesty's and the Royal Family viewing the exhibition of the Royal Academy 1789. Large interior hung with dozens of paintings. This print shows Joshua Reynolds taking the Prince Regent around the annual exhibition of contemporary art at the Royal Academy of Arts. Reynolds lost his hearing through a riding accident when he was 26. Nonetheless, he went on to become a leading British portrait painter. In this image, Reynolds is shown on the far right, using an ear trumpet to enhance his hearing. Ear trumpets and speaking tubes were then the best devices available to amplify sound. As Reynolds aged, he also suffered from progressive deterioration of his sight. Eventually he lost the sight in his left eye.
© Museum of London