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Samuel Johnson

13 of 50 portraits of Samuel Johnson

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Samuel Johnson

after Sir Joshua Reynolds
mezzotint, (1772-1778)
9 5/8 in. x 7 7/8 in. (243 mm x 199 mm) plate size; 11 1/2 in. x 9 1/4 in. (292 mm x 233 mm) paper size
Bequeathed by (Frederick) Leverton Harris, 1927
Reference Collection
NPG D14796

Sitterback to top

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

Artistback 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.

Related worksback to top

  • NPG D19511: Samuel Johnson (based on same portrait)
  • NPG D36533: Samuel Johnson (based on same portrait)
  • NPG D36534: Samuel Johnson (based on same portrait)
  • NPG D14095: Samuel Johnson (based on same portrait)
  • NPG D36535: Samuel Johnson (based on same portrait)

Subject/Themeback to top

Events of 1772back to top

Current affairs

Somersett's Case: William Murrary, 1st Earl of Mansfield, the Lord Chief Justice, rules that slaves could not be taken out of their country against their will after the case of American slave John Somersett is brought before him.
Royal Marriages Act requires the monarch's consent for the marriage of all members of the royal family.

Art and science

Chemist Daniel Rutherford demonstrates his method for isolating nitrogen from other gases.
Inventor James Watt produces the first micrometer to simply and accurately measure small distances. It is to prove crucial in the development of early machinery.
Britain's first trunk canal, the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal, opens for business.

International

Swiss pastor Johann Kaspar Lavater's Essays on Physiognomy revive the study of character through outward appearance.
Captain James Cook sets off, aboard HMS Resolution, on his second Pacific voyage.
First partition of Poland marks the start of Poland's disappearance as an independent state.

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