Alexander Pope

1 portrait on display in Room 16 at the National Portrait Gallery

Alexander Pope, by William Hoare, circa 1739 - NPG 299 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Alexander Pope

by William Hoare
pastel, circa 1739
23 7/8 in. x 17 3/4 in. (602 mm x 449 mm)
Bequeathed by Charles Townsend, 1870
Primary Collection
NPG 299


Click on the links below to find out more:

Sitterback to top

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

Artistback to top

  • William Hoare (1707-1792), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 73 portraits, Sitter in 6 portraits.

This portraitback to top

The power of portraits to promote celebrity led many sitters to try to control their image. The poet Alexander Pope suffered from curvature of the spine, probably caused by Pott's disease. Hoare's son told the diarist Joseph Farrington how 'when Pope sat to His Father for a Portrait, he showed anxiety to conceal the deformity of his person, & had a cloak thrown over his shoulders, & when Mr. Hoare was painting that part of the picture He came behind Him & said 'He need not be very particular about the Shoulders'. 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. 214
  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 500
  • Simon, Jacob, The Art of the Picture Frame: Artists, Patrons and the Framing of Portraits in Britain, 1997 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 8 November 1996 - 9 February 1997), p. 93

Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top