George William Joy

British, b.1844, d.1925

Reverie

  • Presented by the Canterbury Society of Arts, 1932
  • Oil on canvas
  • 1260 x 960 x 70mm
  • 69/392

The faraway look on this young woman’s face suggests she has fallen into a daydream, or ‘reverie’. George Joy is also, perhaps, having a little fun with the word, which can also refer to a gentle, sentimental piece of music, appropriate for his violin-playing sitter. Joy trained as an academic artist and his finely controlled painting style is well displayed in Reverie, particularly in the detail used for the violin and the figure. Reverie was one of five works purchased on behalf of the Canterbury Society of Arts from the 1887 Royal Academy exhibition by Frederic, Lord Leighton. Born in Dublin, George was the brother of the sculptor, Albert Bruce Joy. He was educated at the South Kensington and Royal Academy Schools in London, then in 1868 travelled to Paris to study. On his return to England, Joy settled in Bayswater, London. He exhibited with the Royal Academy from 1872 to 1914 and was a member of the Royal Society of British Artists.