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Samuel Johnson

2 of 50 portraits of Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson, reduced copy after Sir Joshua Reynolds, (circa 1769) - NPG 1445 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Samuel Johnson

reduced copy after Sir Joshua Reynolds
oil on canvas, (circa 1769)
17 3/4 in. x 15 1/4 in. (451 mm x 387 mm)
Given by T. Humphry Ward, 1906
Primary Collection
NPG 1445


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  • Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), Poet, critic and lexicographer. Sitter associated with 50 portraits.

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  • Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792), Painter and first President of the Royal Academy. Artist associated with 1413 portraits, Sitter associated with 38 portraits.

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From early childhood, Johnson suffered from poor eyesight, especially in his left eye, which interfered with his education. There were somewhat contradictory reports about his eyesight from his contemporaries. He appeared to have been near-sighted, yet he did not use eyeglasses. His eyesight became worse with age; still, his handwriting remained quite legible, perhaps out of habit of writing.

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