Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue
Alexander Pope (1688-1744), Poet
‘A lively little Creature', according to a description, almost certainly the sitter's own, 'with long Arms and Legs: A spider is no ill Emblem of him'; and in Sir Joshua Reynolds' account of 1742: 'about four feet six high; very humpbacked and deformed; he wore a black coat; and according to the fashion of that time, had on a little sword; ... he had a large and very fine eye, and a long handsome nose; his mouth had those peculiar marks which always are found in the mouths of crooked persons; and the muscles which ran across the cheek were so strongly marked as to appear like small cords ... an extraordinary face, not an everyday countenance, - a pallidly studious look; not merely a sharp, keen countenance, but something grand, like Cicero's.' 
Footnotesback to top
Referencesback to topAult (ed.) 1936
Prose Works of Alexander Pope, ed. N. Ault, 1936.
Hilles (ed.) 1952
Portraits by Sir Joshua Reynolds, ed. F. W. Hilles, New York, 1952.
J. Prior, Life of Edmond Malone, 1860.
G. Sherburn, The Early Career of Alexander Pope, 1934.
Sherburn (ed.) 1956
The Correspondence of Alexander Pope, ed. G. Sherburn, 1956.
J. Spence, Anecdotes, 1820.
M. Whinney, Victoria and Albert Museum, English Sculpture 1720-1830, 1971.
W. K. Wimsatt, The Portraits of Alexander Pope, 1965.
This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Kerslake, Early Georgian Portraits, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1977, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.