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Dr Johnson (1709–1784), and Mrs Siddons (1755–1831), in Bolt Court

Photo credit: Dr Johnson's House

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The celebrated actress Sarah Siddons specialised in tragic roles, which helped her maintain a dignity and good reputation. She met writer, critic and wit Samuel Johnson near the end of his life and the episode was the inspiration for this painting by Frith. When there was no chair in Johnson's house for the actress he remarked with charm: ‘Madam, you who so often occasion a want of seats to other people, will the more easily excuse the want of one yourself.

Dr Johnson's House


  • Date


  • Medium

    oil on canvas

  • Measurements

    77.7 x 60.5 cm

  • Accession number



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Normally on display at

Dr Johnson's House

17 Gough Square, London, Greater London EC4A 3DE England

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