The Victorian Web informs us that,
This statue, which was erected with money from the Leighton Fund, honours the artist who was a founding member of the Royal Academy, and its first president. Alfred Drury's model for it won the commission over Derwent Wood's in a competition held in 1917 … but it took Drury many years to complete the work.
Reynolds is shown in a rather balletic pose, standing poised in front of an unseen canvas, paintbrush raised, palette and more brushes in his left hand. Prominently placed, the bronze on its stone pedestal makes an arresting and appropriate greeting to the gallery's many visitors — including those who come for the famous Summer Exhibitions, held under the RA's auspices for more than two centuries now. victorianweb.org