- Museum number
Object: Wit and wisdom
Series: Picturesque Beauties of Boswell. Part the First.
Boswell and his wife in the kitchen prepare a dinner for Johnson, who is seen in back view through an open street-door on the extreme left. They face each other smiling across a small, ramshackle table; Boswell is cutting off the neck of a grouse (which resembles a duck or goose). He wears the Scots cap and the pen behind the ear of BMSat 7031, &c., with an apron. From his pocket project 'Ogden' (see BMSat 7031) and the 'Journal'. Mrs. Boswell holds a rolling-pin. Behind (right) is a slatternly maidservant in back view looking to the left with a smile. On the ground are two piles of large birds intended for grouse, and an enormous lobster. Behind is a primitive kitchen fireplace; two large pots are suspended over the fire. The spit rests horizontally above the fireplace. Beneath the title is engraved:
'"We gave him as good a dinner as we could. Our Scotch muir-fowl, or growse, were then abundant, and quite in Season; and so far as wisdom and wit can be aided by administering agreeable sensations to the palate, my wife took care that our great guest should not be deficient."
Vide Journal p. 123 [i.e. p. 38].' 15 May 1786
- Production date
Height: 253 millimetres
Width: 276 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VI, 1938)
Grego, 'Rowlandson', i. 194.
One of a set of twenty plates, 1864,0309.167 to 186, bound together in an album along with letterpress handbills listing the prints and prices for each part (10s. 6d.).
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number