Monday 17 February 2014

Update - The Milton Fitzwilliam bust of Alexander Pope by Roubiliac

The Milton / Fitzwilliam bust of Alexander Pope by Roubiliac once belonging to William Murray, Lord Mansfield at Kenwood House, Hampstead update.

Since my previous post on the subject of the Milton / Fitzwilliam bust of Pope on the 15th January 2014 there has been an essay published in the Sculpture Journal 22.2 by Malcolm Baker entitled "Busts and Friendship: the identity and context of William Murray's version of Roubiliac's bust of Alexander Pope" (always one for a snappy title).

It adds very little to my original researches (provided to Malcolm Baker in 2002) except to give details of the fourth codicil of the will dated 30 April 1793, proved 20 September 1796, of David, the 2nd Earl Mansfield. The bequest reads "To Earl Fitzwilliam who continued to me the friendship he showed to Lord Mansfield I leave the bust of Pope at Kenwood".

I had already pointed out to him in 2002 the similarities in the motto around the bases of both the bust of Pope by Roubiliac and the bust of Lord Mansfield by Nollekins.

The form of the Roubiliac bust is unmistakeably depicted on the doorcase above William Murray, Lord Mansfied in his portrait by John Singleton Copley of 1783, now in the National Portrait Gallery.

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