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Over the years, Plympton has staged impressive celebrations to honour the significant anniversaries of its famous son; this year, the tercentenary, is no exception. For this year’s anniversary, below you will find details of the upcoming events but we thought you’d enjoy seeing some highlights from past celebrations:-

1973 marked the introduction of the Three-Day Week by Edward Heath’s government and the launch of the Austin Allegro by British Leyland. Pablo Picasso, the most influential artist of the 20th Century dies in France aged 91 and UK street artist Banksy is born (possibly). That year also marked the 250th anniversary year of Sir Joshua’s birth and many events were staged in Plympton and Plymouth in July and August to celebrate one of the most memorable and influential individuals of the period.

Pageants, trails, exhibitions and musical events were staged in the village culminating in the ceremony of hanging new iron gates at the Old Grammar School. Guests of honour included the President of the Royal Academy and the Lord Mayor of Plymouth. 
Plymouth City Art Gallery staged an exhibition of Reynolds’s work with an emphasis on the connections he established within the local area during his early years and which he maintained throughout his life and successful career in London.

SJR portrait 2.jpg

Sir Joshua Reynolds 300th Birthday Celebrations 
14th - 16th July 2023

Weekend Schedule

Exhibition in the Guildhall - 10:00 am until 4:00 pm

the next generation of Plympton artists as local schools and groups pay tribute to Sir Joshua.

In “Reynolds and Plympton” we chart his formative years, his family and friends, his early achievements and his
self-awareness as a young person.
Reynolds’ strong connection with the area endured after having built his reputation in London as a painter, writer and theorist. We describe these connections that include his election as Mayor of Plympton in 1773 and his rise to pre-eminence in his field. In “Plympton and Reynolds” we look at how Reynolds’ legacy inspired the next generation of artists in Plympton. We explore the Borough of Plympton, its ultimate demise and follow the trail of its paintings.

Walking trails
Explore the village with a guided tour through Plympton’s history and discover the many settings so familiar to Reynolds

Experiments in Paint

A talk by Alexandra Gent on the tools, materials and techniques used by Reynolds.

Sir Joshua Reynolds - Experimentation in Paint with Dr Alexandra Gent Tickets, Sat 15 Jul 2023 at 14:00 | Eventbrite

Exhibition in the Guildhall - 10:00 am until 4:00 pm

On Sunday the clocks turn back three centuries in Plympton. Bunting will decorate the streets and banners will celebrate the 300th anniversary of the birth of one of Devon’s most famous sons, Sir Joshua Reynolds PRA. Sir Joshua was born in Plympton on July 16, 1723, and we’ll celebrate the historic event with 18th-century costumes, activities and trails.


The backdrop will be the village’s most recognised and best-loved historic buildings and views.


Just after midday, celebrations will begin with a procession to St Maurice Church to lay flowers at the memorial to Sir Joshua.


Join us for a picnic and take part in activities for all the family.


Open picture frames will be set up in the village. Have your framed portrait taken with the background of your choice.


Why not try your hand at portrait drawing or painting with family and friends at the indoor studio or outside in the open air? Art materials and easels will be available for you to use.


The Art and History exhibition in The Guildhall will be open from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm

Additional Links of Interest:-

BBC News



quote from Victoria Pomery, Chief Executive Officer, The Box, Plymouth


Joshua Reynolds at The Box, Plymouth


Artworks on Display in Plympton St Maurice Guildhall


The Mannered Mob - An 18 Century Re-enactment Group

Friday 14th July:-

Saturday 15th July:-

Sunday 16th July:-

Sir Joshua Reynolds at 300 with Dr Martin Postle

Starting at 7:00 pm, one of the leading experts on Sir Joshua Reynolds's artwork Dr Martin Postle will give a talk on Reynolds. Then following the talk, Martin will be joined in a panel discussion by other experts in their field.

A drinks reception will follow at 8:30 pm


Panel Bios -

       Dr Martin Postle 
       John Maine RA

Tickets available from:- EventBrite - Sir Joshua Reynolds at 300 with Dr Martin Postle

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