1723 Born at Plympton St Maurice in Devon, the son of the headmaster of Plympton Grammar School.
1740 Decides to become a painter. Apprenticed to Thomas Hudson in London.
1743 Reynolds cuts short his apprenticeship, working independently in London and Devon.
1749 Sails to Italy with his friend Commodore Augustus Keppel.
1750 Reynolds lives in Rome for two years.
1752 Visits Florence, Bologna, Naples, Venice and Paris before returning to London.
1753 Sets up his own studio in London quickly becoming successful and establishing himself in society circles.
1756 Meets and becomes friendly with Dr Johnson.
1759 Reynolds is elected a governor of the Foundling Hospital.
1764 Founds the Literary Club. Becomes seriously ill but recovers.
1766 He is elected as a member of the Society of Dilettanti.
1768 The Royal Academy is founded and Reynolds is elected as first President.
1769 Delivers the first of his Discourses. Knighted by George III.
1773 Elected Mayor of Plympton.
1778 The first seven Discourses are published.
1782 Suffers a stroke which affects his eyesight.
1784 Appointed principal painter to the king.
1785 Visits Brussels, Antwerp and Ghent.
1789 His eyesight begins to fail.
1790 Makes his last appearance at the Royal Academy.
1792 Dies in London.
1748 Self Portrait, London, National Portrait Gallery
1748 Thomas and Martha Neate with their Tutor, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art
1753 Augustus Keppel, London, National Maritime Museum
1756 Portrait of Captain Robert Orme, London, National Gallery
1756 Catherine, Lady Chambers, London, Kenwood House
1757 Samuel Johnson, London, National Portrait Gallery
1763 Mrs Thomas Riddell, Newcastle upon Tyne, Laing Art Gallery
1764 Nelly O'Brien, London, Wallace Collection
1764 Anne Dashwood as a Shepherdess, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art
1765 Lady Sarah Bunbury Sacrificing to the Graces, Chicago, Art Institute
c1766 General John Burgoyne, New York, Frick Collection
1771 Mrs Abington, New Haven, Yale Center for British Art
1772 Sir Joseph Banks, London, National Portrait Gallery
1773 Lady Cockburn and her three Eldest Sons, London, National Gallery
1773 Charles Coote, Ist Earl of Bellamont, Dublin, National Gallery of Ireland
1775 Miss Bowles, London, Wallace Collection
1777 Lady Elizabeth Delm̩ and her Children, Washington DC , National Gallery of Art
1779 Portrait of Richard Robinson, Birmingham, Barber Institute of Fine Arts
1780 Self Portrait, London, Royal Academy of Arts
1782 Colonel Banastre Tarleton, London, National Gallery
1784 Sarah Siddons as the Tragic Muse, San Marino, CA, Huntington Library and Art Gallery
1787 Lady Smith and Children, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art
1788 Cupid Undoing Venus's Belt, St Petersburg, State Hermitage Museum