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Pope, Roubiliac and the portrait bust

How and why Alexander Pope (1688–1744) – a poet, and not a nobleman – came to be commemorated so often and by some of the foremost artists of eighteenth-century Britain, and by the French émigré sculptor Louis François Roubiliac in particular, is one of the themes explored in the exhibition Fame and Friendship: Pope, Roubiliac and the Portrait Bust, which was first shown at the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, and then at Waddesdon Manor (closed 26th October). The main thrust of the exhibition was, however, the ‘convergence between authorship, literary fame, and the visual arts, highlighting the complex relationship between Pope’s private persona and public fame’.

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