Monday 20 January 2014

Two Busts of Alexander Pope mentioned in the Eighteenth Century.

The Two busts Of Alexander Pope of Unknown Material mentioned in the 18th Century possibly Marble and not yet formally identified.

1. The Madame Boccage Bust. A bust of Pope, Dryden, Milton and Shakespeare sent with three others to Paris in 1751 by Lord Chesterfield..

Esdaile makes a very good case that the four busts for Mme Boccage’s garden sent to France were Roubiliac marble busts. Mrs Thrale saw them in her drawing room in Paris in 1775.
The Saltwood Castle bust of Pope by Roubiliac is currently the best guess for this bust.

The Saltwood Castle bust of Alexander Pope by Roubiliac.

2. A bust of Pope belonging to Charles, Lord Bruce,Viscount of Tottenham, d.1747. -Tottenham Park, Wiltshire. Inventory of 14 Nov.1744. (10 poets heads on painted and gilt brackets, one ditto Mr Pope). Charles, Lord Bruce a friend of Pope, m. Lady Julianna Boyle, sister of Lord Burlington in 1720. Burlington provided plans for Tottenham Park between 1730-40. (drawings at Chatsworth).

The fact that the Pope bust is noted is instructive. Although not stated as a Roubiliac marble bust, he is the most likely candidate for its authorship.

There are two candidates for this bust - The Rosebery Bust now at Yale, Paul Mellon Centre and the Scheemakers bust of Pope also at Yale.

Lord Bruce’s Papers in the Ailesbury Collection at Wiltshire Record Office.

The Yale Rosebery Bust of Alexander Pope by Roubiliac.

The Yale bust of Alexander Pope by Scheemakers.

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