- Museum number
Object: The contest at Auckinleck
Series: Picturesque Beauties of Boswell. Part the Second
The interior of a library, the walls lined with heavy folio volumes. Johnson attacks Lord Auchinleck (left) with three books inscribed 'Liturgy', held between his upraised hands which conceal his face. Auchinleck shrinks back in alarm; he has dropped two volumes, 'Calvin' and 'Whiggism', to the floor. Medals lie on the ground. Boswell (right) stands in the doorway behind Johnson, biting his thumbs and gazing upwards in consternation; his 'Journal' falls to the ground. He wears his Scots cap, and his ink-pot dangles from his buttonhole. Auchinleck is an elderly man wearing a judge's wig and bands. Beneath the title is engraved the passage beginning: '"The contest began whilst my Father was shewing him his collection of Medals', and ending, 'therefore I suppress what would, I dare say, make an interesting scene in this dramatick sketch."
Vide Journal p. 482 [p. 479 in 1st ed.].' 10 June 1786
- Production date
Height: 253 millimetres
Width: 268 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VI, 1938)
The sentence 'and Oliver Cromwell's coin unfortunately introduced Charles the First, and Toryism' is omitted. The representation of this contest of 'intellectual gladiators' perhaps derives from Johnson's attack on Osborne the bookseller.
On the advertisement the title ends, 'in which, Ursa Major made a severe retort on the Journalist's Father' (cf. BMSat 7052).
Grego, 'Rowlandson', i. 197-8.
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