Johnson as Icon


Incidents in the Life of Dr. Johnson. London: R.S. Cartwright, [ca. 1900] *2008-1928

This set of picture postcards, issued by a publisher who resided in Johnson's Court (Johnson's home for a decade, although he is not the Johnson for whom it is named), is based in part on the paintings of Edward Matthew Ward (1816-1879) who specialized in scenes from the lives of literary greats. Ward's painting Doctor Johnson in the Ante-Room of the Lord Chesterfield Waiting for an Audience, 1748 (a copy of which is in the Hyde Collection) depicts a oft-retold anecdote (denied by Johnson) that Chesterfield kept Johnson waiting for an hour while His Lordship chatted with the comic actor Colley Cibber, and that Johnson stormed out upon learning of the slight.