by John Hall, after Sir Joshua Reynolds
line engraving, published 1787 (circa 1786)
7 1/2 in. x 5 1/8 in. (190 mm x 130 mm) paper size
Given by the sitter's great-great-granddaughter, Margaret Julia Maria Hubbard (née Grubbe), 1956
Sitterback to top
- Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), Poet, critic and lexicographer. Sitter associated with 50 portraits.
Artistsback to top
This portraitback to top
This portrait was engraved for the frontispiece of John Hawkin's biography of Johnson in 1787. Depicted reading a book illustrating his occupation as a writer, in a tradition that goes back to the Ancient Greeks, this image is one of several in which Johnson is shown either writing or reading. Displeased that the portrait revealed his short-sightedness, and anxious that he would be remembered chiefly for his defects, he adamantly declared: 'I will not be blinking Sam''.
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- The Life and Lives of Dr Johnson (18 July 2009 - 14 December 2009)
Events of 1787back to top
Current affairsSocial reformers Granville Sharp and Thomas Clarkson found the Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade in London with support from John Wesley, Josiah Wedgwood and others.
George III shows first signs of mental instability in November.
Art and sciencePainter Robert Barker takes out a patent on the Panorama..
Astronomer William Herschel discovers the two moons of Uranus, Titania and Oberon.
The original Lord's Cricket Ground holds its first cricket match.
InternationalCaptain William Bligh sets sail for Tahiti on The Bounty.
First performance of composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Don Giovanni at the National Theatre, Prague.
A British ship lands a party of freed slaves as the first modern settlers in Sierra Leone.
Captain Arthur Phillip leaves Portsmouth with eleven ships full of convicts to establish a penal colony in Australia.
Bahamas become a British colony.
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