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Samuel Johnson

5 of 50 portraits of Samuel Johnson

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Samuel Johnson

after John Opie
oil on canvas, based on a work of circa 1783-1784
20 3/8 in. x 16 7/8 in. (517 mm x 429 mm)
Given by Lord Ronald Charles Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, 1901
Primary Collection
NPG 1302

Sitterback to top

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

Artistback to top

  • John Opie (1761-1807), Portrait and history painter. Artist or producer associated with 151 portraits, Sitter in 13 portraits.

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Events of 1783back to top

Current affairs

William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne resigns as Prime Minister over the proposed peace terms with the United States. Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford briefly forms a government with Charles James Fox in April but is succeeded by a government under William Pitt the Younger who, at the age of 24 becomes the youngest British Prime Minister ever to take office.
The highwayman John Austin is the last person to be publicly executed at Tyburn.

Art and science

Physician and natural philosopher Erasmus Darwin begins publication of A System of Vegetables, a translation from Latin of the work of Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus in which he coins many common English names of plants.

International

Defeat of Charles James Fox's India Bill in the House of Lords which aimed to assist ailing British East India Company.
American War of Independence: Treaty of Paris is signed by Britain, France, Spain and the United States, under which the British government recognises US independence. Britain begins to evacuate loyalists and the last British troops leave New York City three months later.

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