Johnson and His Circle


John Sartain, after James William Edmund Doyle. A Literary Party at Sir Joshua Reynolds’s. [ca. 1850]. Engraving. MS Hyde 76 (1.6.477)

Doyle's painting probably captures a general sense of Johnson's circle around the time of the Club's founding, rather than a particular evening. Depicted, from left to right, are Boswell, Johnson, Reynolds, David Garrick, Edmund Burke, Pasquale Paoli, Charles Burney, Thomas Warton, and Oliver Goldsmith. The black man bringing drinks to the table may be Johnson's servant, Frank Barber.