8 of 44 portraits of Alexander Pope
by William Hoare
red chalk, circa 1739-1743
6 5/8 in. x 4 1/2 in. (168 mm x 114 mm)
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Artistback to top
- William Hoare (1707-1792), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 73 portraits, Sitter in 6 portraits.
This portraitback to top
This portrait was apparently drawn without Pope's knowledge. It is an unusually candid image of the four foot, six inch poet whose growth had been restricted as a result of an illness at the age of twelve. Possibly as a result of his appearance, Pope took great interest in the many portraits that were painted of him, seeking to control how he was portrayed.
Pope suffered ill health throughout his life and it is doubtful that during his periods of writing, he had consecutively good health. Pope's ill health is thought to have begun with rickets which produced a compound curvature of his spine. Pope also suffered from Pott's disease which is tuberculosis of the bone of the spine and this was a major cause of his spinal illness. 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
- Rogers, Malcolm, Master Drawings from the National Portrait Gallery, 1993 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 5 August to 23 October 1994), p. 43
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 500