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Alexander Pope

3 of 12 portraits on display on Floor 2: Turning Heads at Beningbrough Hall

Alexander Pope, after Louis François Roubiliac, (circa 1738) - NPG 2483 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Alexander Pope

after Louis François Roubiliac
terracotta bust, (circa 1738)
25 5/8 in. (651 mm) high
Purchased, 1930
Primary Collection
NPG 2483

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  • Alexander Pope (1688-1744), Poet. Sitter associated with 44 portraits.

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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).

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