Joshua Reynolds was English portrait painter who dominated English artistic life in the middle and late 18th century. Through his art and teaching, he attempted to lead British painting away from the indigenous anecdotal pictures of the early 18th century toward the formal rhetoric of the continental Grand Style. Reynolds' state portraits of the king and queen were never considered a success, and he seldom painted for them; but the Prince of Wales patronized him extensively, and there were few distinguished families or individuals who did not sit for him. Nonetheless, some of his finest portraits are those of his intimate friends and of fashionable women of questionable reputation. He preferred the company of men of letters to that of his fellow artists and was friends with Samuel Johnson, Edmund Burke, and Oliver Goldsmith, among others. He never married, and his house was kept for him by his sister Frances.