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Samuel Johnson was a writer, poet, critic and wit, most famous for his Dictionary of the English Language and for his vivacious character. Sir Joshua Reynolds made several portraits of his good friend Johnson. This is a copy of one of the most famous. Johnson’s characteristic squint was the result of a childhood bout of the ‘King’s Evil’ – tuberculosis of the lymph glands in the neck – which left him with poor sight and hearing.
oil on canvas
H 94.5 x W 82 cm
presented to the Johnson Club, before 1906/1907