Johnson and His Circle


Sir Joshua Reynolds. Portrait of David Garrick. [ca. 1775]. Oil on canvas. *2003JM-7

This portrait of Garrick has a remarkable provenance. It formed part of a set of portraits known as the Streatham Worthies, the circle of literary and artistic greats who often gathered at the Streatham Park home of Henry and Hester Thrale. The collection eventually grew to encompass thirteen paintings, all by Reynolds, and included portraits of Johnson, Oliver Goldsmith, Edmund Burke, and a Reynolds self-portrait. In 1816, the contents of Streatham Park were sold, and Dr. Charles Burney, son of Johnson's friend of the same name, bought the portrait of Garrick. It would remain in the Burney family for more than a century. The portrait of Streatham's owner, Henry Thrale, also resides in the Hyde Collection.