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Johnson Agonistes: Portraying Samuel Johnson

By the time James Boswell published his monumental biography of his friend Samuel Johnson in 1791, the latter’s life had been more fully documented than virtually any other figure in Western history. But Johnson, the famed lexicographer and man of letters, was also the subject of various forms of visual documentation. Richard Wendorf , Stanford Calderwood Director and Librarian of the Boston Athenaeum, surveys all of the known portrayals of Johnson, including the famous portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds now at The Huntington.

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