Saturday, 18 January 2014

Scheemakers Marble Bust of Alexander Pope




The Peter Scheemakers bust of Alexander Pope circa 1737.


              At Yale, Paul Mellon Centre for British Art.


with London dealer Cyril Humphris in 1972. Height 24"








               Peter Gaspar Scheemakers, 1691-1781, Flemish, active in Britain from ca. 1720.






This bust is unsigned. 

Ingrid Roscoe in Scheemakers - Walpole Society Journal, 1998 / 99, suggests this was the bust in the library in the collection of Dr Richard Meade, at 49 Great Ormond St. Sold Auction Sale - 11 March 1755, Lot 63, bought by General Campbell.










It is just possible that this is one of the busts made for Queen Caroline's library designed by William Kent. It was a new building that had been added to St James's Palace shortly before her death, in 1736-37; indeed, she had the use of it for only a month.

Note See - For The Kings Pleasure. Hugh Roberts. N.599. Jutsham III, Deliveries pp.179-87.

Perhaps this bust entered the Royal Collection in the mid eighteenth century and was originally supplied to Queen Carolines Library. There is a design by William Kent in the Soane Museum Vol. 147 / 198 with this bust and seven others, circa 1735/6.

Note -  Bull? Boyle, Spencer Pope, Virgil Shakespeare, Locke. Info from Stephen Astley, Soane Museum, October 2002.

The Library has since been demolished, to be replaced by Lancaster House, but a picture of it survives:




Queen Caroline's Library, from W. H. Pyne, The History of the Royal Residences (1819).

Scheemakers first known set of library busts was for Richard Mead, who ordered heads of Shakespeare, Milton and Pope for his home in Great Ormond Street, London around 1734.

A big thanks to Yale University, Paul Mellon Centre for British art for allowing free availability of its excellent images of Pope by Scheemakers on line.
see -  http://collections.britishart.yale.edu/vufind/Record/1666375

Notes. A cast of a bust of Pope was sold in Scheemakers sale in 10 March 1756, Lot 21.

A life size stone bust is in the Temple of English Worthies at Stowe. part payment made to Scheemakers in Stowe Accounts 13 Dec. 1737 for an unspecified bust.

The Roubiliac type Lead Busts of Alexander Pope.


The Roubiliac Type Lead Busts of Alexander Pope.


1. A lead bust of Alexander Pope at now at Marble Hill House

A cast of the Shipley Bust Garrick bust but mounted on a square tapering socle.




Wimsatt was unaware of this bust.

Sold Christies 10 Dec. 1987.

See also plaster busts 3 and 4.

As Roubiliac produced works in lead possibly the Milton for Jonathon Tyers at Vauxhall Gardens and certainly the full length figure of Sir John Cass. It is possible that he also superintended the manufacture of this bust.

There is also a very fine pair of lead busts in contemporary dress at the V&A.of Dr Salmon and his wife, which have been ascribed to Roubiliac.

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2. A Lead Bust of Alexander Pope, Sold Christies, Lot 104, 10 Dec. 1996.

Wimsatt was not aware of this bust.


The lead bust on a later marble socle appears to be from the middle of the eighteenth century with extensive remains of its original patination and is therefor a candidate for a cast of one of the plasters or a cast from one of the moulds sold at the Roubiliac Sale by Langfords in May 1762. This bust should be compared with the Seward Bust.It is not the same but there are distinct similarities.


The Seward bust of Pope

                                               The Tufnell Plaster bust of Alexander Pope


Very similar to the plaster noted by Wimsatt 61.11 with John Jolliffe Tufnell, Langleys, Great Waltham. Essex. (See notes on the plaster busts).

The Roubiliac Type Plaster Busts of Alexander Pope

     


The Roubiliac Type Plaster Busts of Alexander Pope.
Short but not exhaustive list -
1. The British Museum plaster bust of Alexander Pope bought by Dr Matey at the posthumous Roubiliac sale in May 1762.






Note. See previous blog entry for details and photographs.
2. Plaster bust of Alexander Pope at Alscot Park, Warwickshire.

Wimsatt in his Portraits of Alexander Pope seems to suggest that it is of the same type as the Stourhead bust, but also notes that Rupert Gunnis (11 March 1899 - 31 July 1965) who compiled the Dictionary of British Sculptors suggests the author might be the elder Flaxman who supplied plaster busts of Milton and Pope and figures of Flora and Zingara to James West of Alscot Park, Stratford on Avon, Warwickshire in 1767, drawing on the West family papers.

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3. Plaster bust of Alexander Pope at Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk. (National Trust).Very similar to the Garrick/Shipley Version but has a square socle.


Perhaps one of the casts by Roubiliac from the moulds sold at the posthumous sale. It would appear to be a direct copy from the marble.


Inscribed on the back. L.F. ROUBILIAC Sc. AD VIVUM MDCCXLI 

and on the right A.POPE AET LIII. As the Garrick / Shipley bust

Note. The prominent forelock as on the Shipley / Garrick version and not on any of the other versions.


4. Plaster bust of Alexander Pope, 17”, with Kulgin.D.Duval, bookseller of Frenich, Foss, Pitlochry in his Winter catalogue of 1974.





Kugin Duval Bust of Pope 1974.


Catalogue entry for Duval Bust 1974.



See Wimsatt. Supplement p.145

Appears to be exactly the same as the bust in the previous entry, including the inscription, except that it has a round socle.

Another of this type is mentioned in Wimsatt p. 241 (59.3) as being in the possession of Mrs Richard Wigston of Mundesley, Norfolk in 1903

Another version of this bust passed through Sothebys lot 61, 5 July 1990.

These last four busts could all perhaps have been cast from one of the moulds sold at the Roubiliac sale.


5. A Plaster Bust of Alexander Pope, 22 ins. Stourhead, Wiltshire.



Wimsatt, 61.9 page 254, illustrated page 256.



The socle of a type widely used by John Cheere on his plaster busts also appears on the terra cotta version of Handel by Roubiliac at the National Portrait Gallery.




National Trust say Charles Harris of the Strand? I am not yet sure on what basis.


Notes. Of the Stourhead busts of Pope, Milton, Dryden and Bolingbroke, Mrs Geoffrey Webb (Rysbrack 1951) says “ they are not by Roubiliac but by a lesser and later master, who made busts specially for libraries, each bust being frequently based on an original”.

I would suggest that she probably never saw this bust - it is extremely fine.

Perhaps by John Cheere, Illustrated in The Man at Hyde Park Corner by Timothy Clifford and Terry Friedman.


10 Feb. 1738/9 Roubiliac supplied plaster versions of busts of Pope and Bollingbroke to the Earl of Marchmont, (Hugh Hume, 3rd Earl of Marchmont, b. 15 Feb 1708 d. 10 Jan 1794.

( Victoria & Albert, National Arts Library, Ms 1578 - 1939. The Household Accounts of Hugh Campbell, 3rd Earl of Marchmont 1737- 1746. (Press No. 1737-1746 National Arts Library).

In 1751, Lord Chesterfield sent busts of Shakespeare, Dryden, Milton and Pope to Madame Bocage in Paris, again these might be related.


6. A Plaster bust of Alexander Pope at the Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambridge. 

Probably by John Cheere, but perhaps Charles Harris, see Catalogue at the National Arts Library which includes a list of subjects perhaps matching the moulds sold at Roubiliac's studio sale.





This bust and the next entry are from the same moulds and are loosly based on the Roubiliac Type


7. Plaster bust of Alexander Pope at Aston Hall, Birmingham.


                                              Scan from Wimsatt.
Ex Shardloes, Bucks, sale 1932. Sothebys. See above.

8. Plaster, Rupert Gunnis, Christies, lot 26, 24th March 1966.

See Wimsatt, 61.10. Page 255, Illustrated page 256.

Very difficult to identify from the illustration in Wimsatt, who seems to suggest that it is of the same type as the Stourhead bust, but also notes that Rupert Gunnis suggests the author might be the elder Flaxman who supplied plaster busts of Milton and Pope to James West of Alscot Park, Stratford on Avon, Warwickshire in 1767 drawing on the West family papers.


9. Plaster. with  John Jolliffe Tufnell, Langleys, Great Waltham, Essex in 1966.



Unusual squat, square tapering socle.

See Wimsatt. 61.11. Page 255, illustrated page 256.

It would appear from the photograph in Wimsatt that this bust is related to the Temple Newsam and Seward Marble busts.
A lead version of this bust exists - see the following notes. The lead bust on a later marble socle appears to be from the first half of the eighteenth century with extensive remains of its original patination and is therefore a candidate for one of the plasters or a cast from one of the moulds sold at the Roubiliac Sale by Langfords.



10. A plaster bust of Alexander Pope, the Roubiliac Milton type of 1740 at Hughenden Manor (National Trust), Buckinghamshire.




This bust is very thickly overpainted. The detail of the inscription on the back and around the neck are almost completely obscured but can just be made out to correspond with the Milton bust.

Wimsatt was unaware of this bust.








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11. Plaster bust of Alexander Pope Roubiliac Barber Type, sold alongside busts of Milton, etc at Sotheby sale, Prior Park Bath 29 October 1998. Property of William Rees Mogg. 

Roubiliac type very similar to the bust at Stourhead the head with a pronounced forward lean.but with a different, Cavaceppi type socle. Wimsatt was unaware of this bust.
12. Plaster bust of Alexander Pope in the Library at Studely Royal, Yorkshire in an old Country Life magazine photograph. Similar to the Jolliffe plaster bust no.9 in this list but with a different socle. Wimsatt was unaware of this bust.







Studely Royal was the house of John Aislabie d.1742, disgraced Chancellor of the Exchequer at the time of the South Sea Bubble and his son William Aislabie d.1781, magnificent classical gardens including Medieval Fountains Abbey. House destroyed by fire in 1946. This bust has not yet been located.