1 of 44 portraits of Alexander Pope
- Extended Catalogue Entry
attributed to Charles Jervas
oil on canvas, circa 1713-1715
70 in. x 50 in. (1778 mm x 1270 mm)
Artistback to top
- Charles Jervas (1675-1739), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 40 portraits, Sitter in 4 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Charles Jervas's portrait, in which the poet strikes his favourite meditative pose, was painted just as Pope had begun his translation of Homer's Iliad. The unusual composition may refer to the conflict between fame, represented by the bust of Homer in the top-left corner, and private friendship, symbolised by the figure of the woman who may be a portrait of Pope's close friend Martha Blount. 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
- Eger, Elizabeth; Peltz, Lucy, Brilliant Women: 18th Century Bluestockings, 2008 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 13 March to 15 June 2008), p. 69
- Kerslake, John, Early Georgian Portraits, 1977, p. 212
- Piper, David, The development of the British literary portrait up to Samuel Johnson, 1970, plate XXII
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 500
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1713back to top
Current affairsAn ailing Queen Anne is unable to attend a thanksgiving ceremony at St. Paul's in July to celebrate the treaty of Utrecht, attended by both Houses of Parliament in full state.
John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, on self-imposed exile on the continent, is joined by his wife, Sarah Churchill.
Art and scienceLiterary fraternity, the Scriblerus Club is founded. Consisting of satirists, including Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope and Thomas Parnell, the club ridiculed current trends in scholarship and culture through the fictitious literary character, Martinus Scriblerus.
Joseph Addison's play, Cato, premieres at Drury Lane and becomes an immediate success.