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Samuel Johnson

11 of 50 portraits of Samuel Johnson

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Samuel Johnson

by Samuel William Reynolds, after Sir Joshua Reynolds
mezzotint, (1769)
9 in. x 6 1/2 in. (228 mm x 165 mm) plate size; 11 5/8 in. x 8 5/8 in. (296 mm x 220 mm) paper size
Purchased with help from the Friends of the National Libraries and the Pilgrim Trust, 1966
Reference Collection
NPG D3176

Sitterback to top

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

Artistsback to top

  • 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.
  • Samuel William Reynolds (1773-1835), Mezzotint engraver and painter. Artist or producer associated with 635 portraits, Sitter in 3 portraits.

Related worksback to top

  • NPG D36536: Samuel Johnson (based on same portrait)

Subject/Themeback to top

Events of 1769back to top

Current affairs

Radical John Wilkes is expelled from Parliament once again, on the grounds that he was an outlaw when he was voted in. He is re-elected by his Middlesex constituents, then expelled and re-elected twice more, until Parliament declares his opponent, Henry Luttrell, the winner.
First of 69 anonymous Letters of Junius appears in the Public Advertiser, exposing political corruption. The politician Sir Philip Francis is now believed to have been responsible.

Art and science

Josiah Wedgwood opens his Etruria Works for the manufacture of pottery.
Inventor Richard Arkwright patents a spinning frame able to weave fabric mechanically.
Gordon's London Dry Gin is produced for the first time.
First Royal Academy exhibition is held.
Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage is first published.

International

Captain Cook observes the transit of Venus in Tahiti while his passengers, Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander, collect valuable specimens of Pacific flora. The expedition travels on to New Zealand where Cook begins charting the country's entire coastline.
Treaty of Madras ends the First Anglo-Mysore War but fails to settle dispute.
French inventor Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot tests a steam wagon, probably the first working mechanical vehicle.

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