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This large painting depicts a famous episode of public repentance. When Samuel Johnson’s father Michael fell ill, he asked Johnson (then in his teenage years) if he would attend to the family bookstall in Uttoxeter market. Johnson refused. In later life, he said, ‘Pride was the source of that refusal, and the remembrance of it was painful. A few years ago I desired to atone for this fault. I went to Uttoxeter in very bad weather and stood for a considerable time bareheaded in the rain on the spot where my father’s stall used to stand.
oil on canvas
152 x 184 cm