soldportrait of alexander pope c 1730 circle of jonathan richardson

SOLD......Portrait of Alexander Pope (?) c. 1730: Circle of Jonathan Richardson.


Price

POA

Item Ref

8658N

Description

Oil on canvas in gilded frame.
An interesting portrait of a gentleman, thought to be Alexander Pope (21 May 1688 30 May 1744).
Pope was an 18th-century English poet, best known for his satirical verse and for his translation of Homer. Famous for his use of the heroic couplet, he is the third-most frequently quoted writer in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, after Shakespeare and Tennyson.
Painted in the intimate 'cabinet' size, often made as a gift, the portrait shows in the background an impressive Classical stone terrace; the sitter prominantly displays a double sealed letter which seems to have been written by him, as on his desk are sheets of writing paper and a pen.
In 1731 Pope wrote his "Epistle to Burlington" to the amateur architect, Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington (1674-1753). Burlington was a close friend of Alexander Pope, whose "Epistle to Burlington" acknowledges his great taste in both architecture and landscape design.
Does the Palladian terrace acknowledge Burlington's revival of the architecture of Palladio, and does the envelope symbolise one of Pope's famous epistles? Perhaps.
(An epistle is a writing directed or sent to a person or group of people, usually an elegant and formal didactic letter.)
(Image 4 shows a portrait of Pope when younger and painted in 1718 by Richardson).
JONATHAN RICHARDSON (16651745) sometimes called "the Elder" to distinguish him from his son) was an English artist, collector of drawings, and writer on art, working almost entirely as a portrait-painter in London.
Richardson was born in 1666, as an apprentice, he learnt the art of portraiture from Riley whilst living at his master's house. Richardson's wife was Riley's niece.
Richardson was even more influential as a writer than as a painter according to Samuel Johnson. He is credited with inspiring Joshua Reynolds to paint and theorise with his 1715 book 'An Essay on the Theory of Painting'.
In 1731 he was considered by some art-critics as one of the three foremost painters of his time with Charles Jervas and Michael Dahl. He was the master of Thomas Hudson and George Knapton.
SIZE: 23 x 28.5 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Somerset Private Collection.
Internal Ref: 8658N



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