Anna Williams (1706–1783)

Image credit: Dr Johnson's House

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This portrait of Anna Williams was painted by Frances Reynolds, sister of the more renowned portraitist, Sir Joshua Reynolds. All were friends with Samuel Johnson. The sitter, Anna Williams, was a friend and housekeeper to Johnson from the early 1750s until her death in 1783. Johnson supported the impoverished Williams, the daughter of a failed inventor, for many decades and helped publish a miscellany of literary works for her benefit. Frances Reynolds has created a sensitive portrayal of Williams who, at an early age, was blinded by untreatable cataracts in both her eyes.

Dr Johnson's House



Anna Williams (1706–1783)


oil on canvas


H 79 x W 69 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

presented by the subscribers of the Johnson Club, 1932

Work type



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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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