The scene depicts two aristocrats and a diplomat, who were the type of high society individuals that would frequently in the work of Reynolds. The painting was recently acquired by the Tate, a large British art institution, and this has ensured increased exposure for this particular work.
Joshua Reynolds completed this painting between 1769 and 1770. The artist chose to theme this piece with an element of classicism, underlined by the attire worn by the subjects as well as their various accompanying possessions. This was a particularly important period in the career of this artist, with him having just been made the first President of the Royal Academy, an important institution that continues in the present day.
Behind the main focal point of the painting, the subjects, you will find elements of a landscape scene which add some additional interest to the piece. The classical theme forces the artist to make use of bows and arrows rather than more uptodate weaponary. This brings an element of leisure to the scene, as if several friends are enjoying some time off with the challenge of a shooting pastime.
Sir Joshua Reynolds ranks as one of the finest British artists in history and those interested should check out related artists such as Thomas Gainsborough, George Stubbs and William Hogarth.