Reference Entry

Johnson, Richard

S. J. Vernoit

in Oxford Art Online


Published online January 2003 | e-ISBN: 9781884446054 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gao/9781884446054.article.T045030

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(b 1753; d Brighton, Aug 19, 1807).

English collector. He went to India in 1770 as a writer in the Bengal Civil Service and spent ten years in Calcutta, occupying various posts including assistant to the Governor-General Warren Hastings (1732–1818). Johnson became very rich, augmenting his salary with private trade, and he also took part in the intellectual life surrounding Hastings, studying oriental languages, commissioning copies of manuscripts for his own use and purchasing paintings. He was in Lucknow as Head Assistant to the Resident (1780–82), where he increased his collection. On returning to Calcutta, he became friends with the Orientalist scholar William Jones (1746–94). Johnson was Resident at Hyderabad (1784–5), where he again extended his collection, especially with Deccani paintings. Recalled to Calcutta, he became involved with the Asiatic Society of Bengal, founded by Jones. In 1786 Johnson joined the Board of Revenue and became Chairman of the General Bank of India, a post he held until his departure from India in ...

Reference Entry.  312 words. 

Subjects: Exhibition Catalogues and Specific Collections ; 18th-Century Art ; 19th-Century Art ; Islamic Art

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