6 of 44 portraits of Alexander Pope
after Louis François Roubiliac
terracotta bust, (circa 1738)
25 5/8 in. (651 mm) high
Click on the links below to find out more:
Artistback to top
- Louis François Roubiliac (1702-1762), Sculptor. Artist associated with 13 portraits, Sitter in 5 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Eighteenth-century portrait sculpture was influenced by works from ancient Greece and Rome. The dignity and status of male sitters could be enhanced by portraying them as Roman senators with cropped hair and a toga or cloak. This allowed sculptors greater freedom to depict a subject's features and physique without the restrictive wigs and clothing of modern fashion. The classical look suited the poet Alexander Pope who translated Homer and had just published his poetic Imitations of Horace (1733-8). More detailed information on this portrait is available in a National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue, John Kerslake's Early Georgian Portraits (1977, out of print).
Linked publicationsback to top
- Kerslake, John, Early Georgian Portraits, 1977, p. 217
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 500
Events of 1738back to top
Current affairsFetter Lane Society founded in London by the Moravians; a reformed group of Protestants led by exiled Saxon Count Nicolaus von Zinzendorf. He visits Britain to petition the king for protection for Moravian missionaries working in the British colonies. An act to this effect is finally passed in 1749. John Wesley is converted, essentially launching the Methodist movement.
Art and scienceArtist Allan Ramsay returns to London from Rome and sets himself up as a portrait painter. Metallurgist William Champion patents a process to distil zinc from calamine using charcoal in a smelter.
InternationalMethodist preacher George Whitefield arrives in Savannah, Georgia to replace John Wesley; the first of seven visits across the Atlantic which make him one of the most widely recognised figures in the American colonies. Merchant sailor Robert Jenkins presents his pickled ear (cut off by Spanish coast-guards in Cuba in 1731) to Parliament stirring up war fever against Spain and leading to the War of Jenkins' Ear the following year.
Exhibitions and displays
- Exposed: The Naked Portrait
Until 11 September