SPECIAL ADVISORY: In accordance with Yale University’s revised COVID-19 protocols, the Yale University Art Gallery is closed to the public until further notice. Learn More

European Art
Artist: Sir Joshua Reynolds, British, 1723–1792

Omai

ca. 1774

Oil on canvas

63.8 × 55.9 × 1.9 cm (25 1/8 × 22 × 3/4 in.)
Gift of the Associates in Fine Arts
1936.128
Status: 
Not on view
Culture: 
British
Period: 
18th century
Classification: 
Paintings
Provenance: 

[Probably the painting sold at Reynold's posthumous studio sale as "First head of Omai"] Greenwood's sale, 14 April 1796, lot #51, bought by Clarke; John Steers Collection, by 1803; Steers Collection sale, Christie's, 3 June 1826, lot #45; G. J. Revely Collection, 1826-1873; G. J. Revely Collection sale, Christie's, 23 January 1873; Cox Collection; Mr. Randall Davies Collection, purchased at London auction, before WWII; P. & D. Colnaghi & Co., London; Purchased from Colnaghi in 1936.

Letter from P. & D. Colnaghi & Co. dated 9 October 1936: "We think the Reynolds sketch is in all probability identical with that mentioned in Graves & Cronin 'Reynolds' II, p. 708, as 'First Head of Omai' (sold April, 1976), the history of which is traced down to the year 1873, but we cannot definitely connect the pedigree of our picture (which we bought from the well-known English collector, Mr. Randall Davies) with this. Mr. Randall Davies tells us he bought it in a Sale in London before the War, where it was correctly described, but he has been quite unable to find the exact date and consequently we could not pursue our researches any further."

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.