William Walker after James Doyle
A Literary Party at Sir Joshua Reynolds's
Dedicated by Unanimous Permission to 'The Club' by their most Obedient & Humble Servant, William Walker.
25.5 x 20 inches
An etched and stipple plate engraving by Walker after the painting by James Doyle; published in London in 1848.
This magnificent image depicts a dinner party at the home of Sir Joshua Reynolds. Seated around the table (from left to right) are James Boswell, Samuel Johnson, Joshua Reynolds (with ear trumpet), Edward Burke, David Garrick, Pasquali Paoli, Charles Burney, Thomas Warton and Oliver Goldsmith. A black servant brings in a tray with more wine to refresh the guests.
This most famous of dining clubs was the brain child of Sir Joshua Reynolds although latterly it became more closely associated with Samuel Johnson. It was founded by Reynolds and Johnson in 1764 with the idea of perpetuating scholarly debate, artistic endeavour and classical thought. Its members were amongst the most highly regarded of the day and included politicians, artists, playwrights, scholars and freedom fighters. It originally met once a week at The Turk's Head public house in Soho but eventually moved to a fortnightly meeting at rooms in St. James's Street.