This picture, presented to the National Gallery in 1847, and subsequently transferred to Tate in 1951, has for many years been among Reynolds's best known works. In the nineteenth century it was deeply admired and frequently copied, National Gallery records revealing that between its acquisition and the end of the century no fewer than 323 full-scale copies in oil were made.
The picture was not a commissioned portrait but a character study, or 'fancy picture', as the genre was known in the eighteenth century. The present title was not invented by Reynolds, but derives from an engraving of 1794, the second impression of which was inscribed 'The Age of Innocence'. Traditionally, it is has been thought that the picture was painted in 1788
This is a very Old Signed in ink engraving of the famous Age of Innocense by Reynolds. Framed in 3/4" rolled edge black wood moulding the entire work of art measures 18 1/8" x 23" and is sepia in color. As you will see this work is signed "Age of Innocense" in ink in the right hand corner and in cursive ink "Reynolds" in left hand mat. Unfortunately there is some water damage on the print and the mat, (most of which is on the separate replaceable white mat board), but can be removed by a professional restorer. This slight damage does not affect the depth of coloring of the print and is top discolored only on the surface of the paper on which it is printed.