Thursday, 16 January 2014

6,  The Barber Institute terra cotta Bust of Alexander Pope by Louis Francois Roubiliac.

The original Terra cotta for the third type of Roubiliac Pope bust, height 24.5 ins. inc. socle. Barber Institute of Arts, University of Birmingham. ex collection Christopher Murray, Sold Sothebys, lot 47, 19 June 1970, Ill. Art at Auction 1969/70. P. 326/7. Ex Samuel Rogers, St James Place, Ex. Collection, Mrs Copner, Elton Hall. Huntingdon. Now At Yale, Paul Mellon Centre.
Sold by Christies 29 March 1805, lot 119 for £5 to Samuel Rogers (1763 - 1855), banker and poet laureate, sold by Christie's 28 April 1856.

See Wimsatt, 57.1 page 229.
This bust is the terra cotta prototype on which the later two signed marbles busts of Pope the Garrick bust and the bust at Yale, Paul Mellon Centre for British Arts and the Poulett bust and the three unsigned marble busts are based.

The Poulett bust must date from 1740 - 41 if it the same as mentioned in the Gentlemans Magazine as Being in Wiltshire's Assembly Rooms in Bath in February 1741. This would date this terra cotta to 1740 or before. 

Rear View of the Barber Institute Tera cotta Pope by Roubiliac

A terra cotta version, which might be this one, is mentioned in the sale catalogue of the contents of Roubiliacs studio at his late dwelling house in St Martins Lane by Langfords, Lot 76, third day of sale, Friday 5 May 1762 but it is possible that this lot may have been a different and lost terra cotta version of the earlier busts.

According to Kerslake ( Early Georgian Portraits, National Gallery, 1977) sold to surgeon and collector John Belchier  1706 - 85. (who was also portrayed by Roubiliac circa 1750. The terra cotta bust of Belchier is at the Royal College of Surgeons), information from Christies Archives. 
Belchier bequeathed a bust of Newton by Roubiliac to the Royal Society.

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