12 of 50 portraits of Samuel Johnson
after Unknown artist
mezzotint printed in colours, late 18th century
14 3/8 in. x 12 1/4 in. (365 mm x 311 mm) plate size; 25 in. x 20 in. (636 mm x 508 mm) paper size
Given by Robert William Chapman, 1939
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Sitterback to top
- Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), Poet, critic and lexicographer. Sitter associated with 50 portraits.
Events of 1770back to top
Current affairsAugustus FitzRoy, 3rd Duke of Grafton resigns as Prime Minister and is succeeded by Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford.
Art and scienceOliver Goldsmith publishes his poem The Deserted Village. Philosopher and politician Edmund Burke publishes Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents discussing the limits of the King's authority. 17-year-old Thomas Chatterton, later hailed as a significant poet, commits suicide in a London garret.Thomas Gainsborough paints his portrait of Jonathan Buttall, which later becomes known as The Blue Boy.
International'Townshend duties' on imports into the colonies are repealed, except for the duty on tea. However, this concession is soon followed by the Boston Massacre, in which British troops fire into an unruly crowd in Boston, killing five. Captain Cook reaches the eastern coast of Australia, at a place which he names Botany Bay. He discovers the Great Barrier Reef when HMS Endeavour runs onto it. Cook claims New South Wales for the British.
Exhibitions and displays
- Framing the Face: Collars and Ruffs
Until 16 July
- Reproducing Fame: Printmakers and the Nineteenth Century Stage
Until 2 July
- Portrait of the Day: Augustus Pugin
31 January, 12:30