Alexander Pope - Artist

Robert W. Williams


It has become a commonplace of modern Pope criticism to note, in passing, that the poet Alexander Pope was interested in painting. Until recent times however little intensive consideration was given to this interest; and Norman Ault's perceptive study of Pope's colour-sense and the brief time he spent in the studio of the painter Charles Jervas in 1713 long remained the locus citatus for most commentators. More recently, in his survey of Pope's poetry and its relations with contemporary arts, Morris R. Brownell has considered to some extent Pope's personal interest in the visual arts of his day; while Christopher Hussey has looked extensively at Pope's involvement, with Lord Burlington's protege William Kent, in the fashionable landscape gardening of the period. It still remains to consider just how deeply and intensely Pope was involved in the visual arts, especially painting, of his day; and how that involvement may have borne on his career as a poet.

Full Text: