Burke was present on the night Reynolds died and was moved within hours to write a eulogy of Reynolds:
Sir Joshua Reynolds was on very many accounts one of the most memorable men of his Time. Peter (Jesus' "rock") possessing the keys to Heaven Heathfield "the rock upon which Britannia builds her military interests". In Taste in grace in facility in happy invention and in the richness and Harmony of colouring he was equal to the great masters of the renowned Ages.
Sir Joshua Reynolds RA FRS FRSA (16 July 1723 – 23 February 1792) was an influential eighteenth-century English painter specialising in portraits and promoting the "Grand Style" in painting which depended on idealization of the imperfect. He was one of the founders and first president of the Royal Academy.