French Sculpture Census

crédits photo : ph. courtesy Yale Center for British Art
© artiste : public domain

Lyon, Rhône 1695 - Londres, Grande-Bretagne 1762

Alexander Pope (1688-1744)
Alexander Pope (1688-1744)


62,9 x 43,2 x 22,9
signé et daté sous l'épaule droite du modèle : Anno Dom. / MDCCXLI. / L.F. Roubiliac / Scit. Ad vivum
inscrit sur le devant de la base : POPE
sous l'épaule gauche du modèle : ALEX. POPE. Nats. LONDINI / die 8o. junii anno MDCLXXXVIII. / Obiit in vico Twickenham prope / Urbem, die 8o. maii MDCCXLIV

N° d'inv. : B1993.27
Credit Line : Yale Center for British Art, Gift of Paul Mellon in memory of the British art historian Basil Taylor (1922-1975), B1993.27

New Haven, Connecticut, Yale Center for British Art


  • 1993, don de Paul Mellon en mémoire de l'historien d'art britannique Basil Taylor (1922-1975)


  • Museum's website, August 18, 2015
  • 1900 Peel sale
    Robinson & Fisher Sale Catalogue: The Peel Heirlooms including fine engravings, clocks, candelabra, decorative furniture, China, curios, sculpture...: May 10-11 1900, Robinson & Fisher, London, May 10-11, 1900, p. 13, lot no. 142
  • 1928 McDowall Esdaille
    Katherine Ada McDowall Esdaile, The life and works of Louis François Roubiliac, Oxford University Press, London, 1928, pp. 2, 47-49, 103-105, 107, 178-179, 185
  • 1954 Webb
    Marjorie Isabel Webb, "Michael Rysbrack, sculptor", Country Life Limited, London, 1954, pp. 77-78
  • 1959 Iveagh Bequest
    Kenwood House (The Iveagh Bequest), Eighteenth Century Portrait Busts, Exhibition at the Iveagh Bequest Kenwood : June to September 1959, London County Council, London, June to September 1959, pp. 22-23, no. 21
  • 1962 Hinks
    Roger Hinks, "Le Bicentenaire de Louis François Roubiliac", Etudes Anglaises, vol. 15, January-March 1962, p. 3
  • 1965 Wimsatt
    William K. Wimsatt, The Portraits of Alexander Pope, Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 1965, pp. 227-229, 244-246, 248-249, no. 61.1
  • 1971 Whinney
    Margaret Whinney, English Sculpture 1720-1830, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1971, front cover, pp. 80-82, no. 21
  • 1976, Mainstone
    Madeleine Mainstone, Roubiliac's Handel, London, Victoria and Albert Museum, 1976, pl. 7
  • 1977 Kerslake
    John F. Kerslake, Early Georgian portraits, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1977, pp. 217-218
  • 1984 Julius
    Muriel Julius, "Rococo, The Art of Frivolity", Contemporary Review, vol. 245, London, New York, NY, August 1984, p. 99
  • 1988 Whinney
    Margaret Whinney, Sculpture in Britain, 1530-1830, Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, England, 1988, pp 201-203, 545 n. 16, fig. 139
  • 1990 Sotheby's
    Sotheby's sale catalogue : European Works of Art and Sculpture including ... an Eglish Marble Bust of Alexander Pope by Louis-Francois Roubiliac signed and dated 1741 : 5 July 1990, , Sotheby's, Sotheby's, London, July 5, 1990, pp. 32-36, lot 57
  • 1993 Apollo
    "Acquisition of the Year, The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection : 775 paintings purchased by the Spanish Government", Apollo, 139, December 1993, pp. 358-359, fig. 5
  • 1994 Burlington
    "Calendar, USA and Canada", Burlington Magazine, 136, February 1994, p. 143, no. 73
  • 1995 Baker
    Malcolm Baker, "The making of portrait busts in the mid-eighteenth century, Roubiliac, Scheemakers and Trinity College, Dublin", Burlington Magazine, vol. 137, December 1995, pp. 822-823, 826-827, 829, 830, pl. 40, fig. 48,49
  • 1999 Dawson
    Aileen Dawson, Portrait Sculpture, A catalogue of the British Museum collection c. 1675-1975, British Museum Press, London, 1999, pp. 165-166, no. 64, fig. 46
  • 2000 Vermeule
    Blakey Vermeule, The party of humanity, writing moral psychology in eighteenth-century Britain, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD, 2000, pp. 64-65, fig. 2
  • 2004 Trumble
    Angus Trumble, The Marble Bust, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 2004, no. 12
  • 2006 Toronto
    Ritual, routine and regime, repetition in early modern British and European cultures, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 2006, pp. 12-13, 225-227, 232-236, fig. 10.1, 10.3
  • 2007 Apollo
    "The Yale Center for British Art, An Anniversary Celebration of Paul Mellon's Great Legacy", Apollo, April 2007, front cover
  • 2007 Baskett
    John Baskett, Paul Mellon's legacy, a passion for British art : masterpieces from the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2007, pp. 10, 247-248, no. 15, fig. 9
  • 2007 Duguid
    Lindsay Duguid, "The Recollected Works", TLS, the Times Literary Supplement, Issue no. 5458, November 8, 2007, p. 17
  • 2007 Waterfield
    Giles Waterfield, "Mr Mellon", RA : the magazine for the Friends of the Royal Academy, No. 96, Autumn 2007, p. 71
  • 2009 Darr
    Alan Phipps Darr, "Virtuoso carvings, Three Eigtheenth-century British portrait sculptures by Le Marchand, Roubiliac, and Chaffers", Bulletin of the Detroit Institute of Arts, vol. 83, 2009, p. 45
  • 2009 Roscoe
    Ingrid Roscoe, A biographical dictionary of sculptors in Britain, 1660-1851, Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 2009, pp. 1063, 1067, no. 69
  • 2013 Wilson
    David Wilson, "Michael Rysback's Antique Head on Modern Shoulders", Georgian Group Journal, vol. 21, Georgian Group, 2013, p. 17, Fig. 2
  • 2014 Baker
    Malcolm Baker, The marble index : Roubiliac and sculptural portraiture in eighteenth-century Britain, The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, New Haven, 2014, pp. 69, 70, 172, 196-197, 200, 206, 208-209, 267-270, 273-74, figs. 68, 218, 229, 233, 287
  • 2014 Diaphanes
    "Multiples in pre-modern art", Diaphanes, Zurich, 2014, p. 278, fig. 7
  • 2014 Hallett
    Mark Hallett, Reynolds : portraiture in action, The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, New Haven, 2014, pp. 303, 304, fig. no. 292
  • 2014 YCBA
    Fame & friendship, Pope, Roubiliac, and the portrait bust in eighteenth-century Britain, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut, 2014, cover, pp. 5, 9, 15, 17, 21, 23
  • 2014 Hallett
    Mark Hallett, Reynolds : portraiture in action, The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, New Haven, 2014, pp. 303, 304, fig. no. 292


Museum's website, Curatorial comment, August 18, 2015:
The English poet, man of letters, satirist, wit, translator of Homer, and editor of Shakespeare, Alexander Pope (1688–1744) was one of the greatest figures of the Enlightenment. Largely self-educated, Pope was also one of the first English poets to generate a comfortable income from nondramatic writing. His brilliance was such that he came to dominate the world of English poetry and letters in the first half of the eighteenth century in a manner to which no subsequent poet could reasonably aspire or possibly emulate. The fluency and elegance of his poetic writing were matched by the originality and sharpness of his intellect. Pope was a Catholic, a friend of Jonathan Swift, a keen gardener, and a neighbor, at Twickenham, of the traveler and diarist Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. Pope’s fame was such that he was also one of the most frequently portrayed men of the age. Wimsatt catalogued more than sixty portraits, many of which exist in multiple versions, and still others reappear from time to time. There are portraits of Pope by Godfrey Kneller, Jonathan Richardson the elder, Jervas, Hoare of Bath, and Van Loo. And there are busts by Michael Rysbrack and four marble versions of the present work, which in due course spawned sets of four successfully marketed library busts of Shakespeare, Milton, Dryden, and Pope, based on the original terracotta modello (1738, Barber Institute of Arts at the University of Birmingham) by Louis-François Roubiliac. This fine version, which was given to the Center by Paul Mellon, was possibly commissioned by the author, Tory politician, and diplomat Viscount Bolingbroke (1678–1751) and was subsequently owned by two prime ministers. It is not clear whether it was one of the two marble busts of Pope that were listed as “marble head” and “marble bust” in the sculptor’s studio sale of 1762. The socle is modern. The other three versions are at Temple Newsam House, Leeds; the Fitzwilliam collection at Minton, Peterborough; and the Shipley Art Gallery, Gateshead. George Vertue thought Roubiliac’s busts of “Mr. Pope more like than any other sculptor has done I think” (Vertue, “Note Books”), and Reynolds told Malone that the sculptor had described Pope’s appearance during the sittings “as that of a person who had been much afflicted with the headache, and that he should have known the fact from the contracted appearance of the skin above the eyebrows, though he had not otherwise been apprized of it” (Wimsatt, 1965, p. 229).