1756-57. Oil on canvas. 127.6 x 101.6 cm. National Portrait Gallery, London, UK. Read Note.
Samuel Johnson (1709-84) Poet, essayist, literary critic, dramatist and author of the celebrated Dictionary of the English Language (1755), son of Michael Johnson, bookseller, and his wife, Sarah Ford. On 8 July 1735, he married Elizabeth Porter (1689-1752), a widow. In 1737 he went to London where he met Reynolds c. 1756, at whose suggestion the Literary Club was founded in 1764, centered around Johnson as a conversationalist.
His major works: Life of Richard Savage (1745), A Dictionary of the English Language (1755), The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia (1759), The Plays of William Shakespeare (1765), A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland (1775), Lives of the English Poets (1781) , etc