Samuel Johnson

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Samuel Johnson

by William Doughty, after Sir Joshua Reynolds
mezzotint, published late 18th century (1772-1778)
16 in. x 12 3/4 in. (405 mm x 323 mm) paper size
Given by Mr F.W.B. Maufe and Mrs G.B. Lane, 1950
Reference Collection
NPG D36534

Sitterback to top

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

Artistsback to top

  • William Doughty (1757-1781 or 1782), Portrait painter and mezzotinter. Artist or producer associated with 13 portraits, Sitter associated with 2 portraits.
  • Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792), Painter and first President of the Royal Academy. Artist or producer associated with 1424 portraits, Sitter associated with 39 portraits.

Related worksback to top

  • NPG D19511: Samuel Johnson (based on same portrait)
  • NPG D36533: Samuel Johnson (based on same portrait)
  • NPG D14796: Samuel Johnson (based on same portrait)
  • NPG D14095: Samuel Johnson (based on same portrait)
  • NPG D36535: Samuel Johnson (based on same portrait)

Subjects & Themesback to top

Events of 1779back to top

Current affairs

Admiral Augustus Keppel, First Lord of the Admiralty during the final years of the American War of Independence is tried and acquitted at court martial of misconduct at the Battle of Ushant the previous year. His case becomes a cause célèbre.
Botanist Joseph Banks tells a committee of the House of Commons that the east coast of Australia is suitable for the transportation of convicted felons.
Penitentiary Act authorises state prisons.

Art and science

Swiss artist Henry Fuseli settles in London after nine years in Rome. Painter and President of the Royal Academy Joshua Reynolds' celebrated Discourses on art are published as a book.
World's first iron bridge is assembled across the Severn at Coalbrookdale.Inventor Samuel Crompton introduces the Spinning Mule.
John Newton and William Cowper's Olney Hymns is published, containing the first printed version of Amazing Grace.

International

American War of Independence: Spain, in alliance with France and the US, declares war on Britain. Great Siege of Gibraltar begins, in which French and Spanish forces try to wrest power from the established British Garrison, under the leadership of General George Augustus Eliot.
Captain James Cook is killed in a skirmish with natives on the Sandwich Islands on his third and final voyage.

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