Portrait of Oliver Goldsmith by Sir Joshua Reynolds

Description

This portrait of the novelist and playwright Dr Oliver Goldsmith (1728?–1774) was painted by the foremost portrait artist of the era, Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723–1792). It is one of a pair exhibited at the Royal Academy by Reynolds in 1770; the other likeness was of their mutual friend Dr Samuel Johnson (1709–1784).

Goldsmith, Johnson and Reynolds were key members of a dinner club, known simply as ‘The Club’, a select group of wits and literary luminaries who met regularly at the Turk’s Head tavern in London’s Soho.

Reynolds's sister Fanny (1729–1807) praised the portrait of Goldsmith: ‘Sir Joshua, I have often thought, never exhibited a more striking proof of his excellence in portrait-painting, than in giving dignity to Dr Goldsmith’s countenance, and yet preserving its strong likeness’.[1]

[1] Johnsonian Miscellanies, ed. by G B Hill (London, 1897), Vol. ii, p. 268.

Full title:
Oliver Goldsmith (1728–1774)
Created:
c. 1770
Format:
Painting / Image
Creator:
Sir Joshua Reynolds
Copyright:
© National Trust Images by kind permission of the Saville Trustee Company Limited
Usage terms

© National Trust Images by kind permission of the Saville Trustee Company Limited

Held by
National Trust
Shelfmark:
National Trust Images 129929

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