Painted when Boswell was beginning work on his Life of Johnson, published six years later.

He wears a white wig and neckband, a slate-grey coat; the top of his matching waistcoat is unbuttoned, showing a white shirt-frill. A red curtain behind his head is looped up over a landscape on the left of the picture, which is lit from the top right. Boswell, who died in 1795 was 45 at the time of this portrait and it is one of only two recorded paintings of Boswell from life.


James Boswell; by descent to the 6th Lord Talbot de Malahide; Sir Gilbert Eliott of Stobbs.

National Portrait Gallery

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