Samuel Johnson

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Samuel Johnson

by Edward Hodges Baily, after Joseph Nollekens
marble bust, 1828, based on a work of 1777
27 in. (686 mm) high
Transferred from Tate Gallery, 1957
Primary Collection
NPG 996

Sitterback to top

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

Artistsback to top

  • Edward Hodges Baily (1788-1867), Sculptor, designer and modeller of silver. Artist or producer associated with 16 portraits, Sitter in 6 portraits.
  • Joseph Nollekens (1737-1823), Sculptor. Artist or producer associated with 20 portraits, Sitter in 14 portraits.

This portraitback to top

This commemorative bust is a copy of an eighteenth-century sculpture. It was commissioned, along with a similar bust of the scientist Sir Isaac Newton, by the collector Robert Vernon, who left them to the nation in 1845.

Linked publicationsback to top

Subject/Themeback to top

Events of 1777back to top

Current affairs

Trent and Mersey Canal is completed under the supervision of engineer James Brindley.
Philanthropist and reformer John Howard publishes his study The State of the Prisons in England and Wales.

Art and science

Artist James Barry begins his monumental series of paintings The Progress of Human Culture for the Great Room of the Society of Arts in London. He completes it in 1783.
Richard Brinsley Sheridan's second play, The School for Scandal, is an immediate success in London's Drury Lane Theatre.
Entrepreneur William Bass establishes the Bass Brewery at Burton upon Trent.

International

American War of Independence: George Washington, heavily defeated at the Battle of Brandywine, is forced to relinquish Philadelphia to the British under General William Howe. At the two Battles of Saratoga only weeks later General John Burgoyne is forced to surrender to the Americans, marking a turning point in the war. The Continental Congress agrees the final version of the Articles of Confederation, defining the terms on which states join the Union.

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