18th century

Accompanies an exhibition at Rothschild Collection, Waddesdon Manor, National Trust
18 June – 26 October 2014

Fame and Friendship: Pope, Roubiliac and the Portrait Bust

Paperback, 212 x 197 mm, 128 pages, 50 colour illus.
PRICE: £15.00
ISBN: 978-0-9547310-5-2


Malcolm Baker

No literary figure of the 18th-century was more esteemed than the poet Alexander Pope, and his sculpted portraits exemplify the celebration of literary fame at a period when authorship was being newly conceived and the portrait bust was enjoying new popularity. Accompanying an exhibition at Waddesdon Manor (The Rothschild Collection), this publication explores the convergence between authorship, portraiture, and the sculpted image in particular, by bringing together a wide range of works that foreground Pope’s celebrity status.

Pope took great pains over how he was represented and carefully fashioned his public persona through images, published letters and the printed editions of his works. Examined alongside some of the most celebrated painted portraits of the poet, will be a selection of the printed texts which Pope planned with meticulous care. The core of the publication will consist of eight different versions of the same portrait bust by the leading sculptor of the period, Louis François Roubiliac. 

The marble bust had long been seen as a form appropriate for the celebration of literary fame and Pope’s bust in part imitates those of classical authors whose works he both translated and consciously imitated in his own poems. More than any other sculptor, Roubiliac reworked the conventions of the bust, transforming it into a genre that was considered worthy of close and sustained attention. Nowhere is this seen more tellingly than in his compelling and intense portraits of Pope. Based on a vividly modelled clay original, the variant marble versions were carved with arresting virtuosity, recalling Pope’s own phrase, “Marble, soften’d into Life”. At the same time, the image was reproduced by both the sculptor himself and by others, in a variety of materials. 

Multiplied and reproduced throughout the 18th century, Pope’s bust was the most familiar and visible sign of his authorial fame. At the same time, it was also used as a way of articulating friendship – a constant theme in Pope’s verse - and all the early versions of Roubiliac’s bust were probably executed for Pope’s closest friends. By bringing together the eight versions thought to have been executed by Roubiliac and his studio, and a number of other copies in marble, plaster and ceramic, this publication will offer the opportunity to explore not only the complex relationship between these various versions but the hitherto little understood processes of sculptural production and replication in eighteenth-century Britain.



"Excellent catalogue" THE TELEGRAPH, Richard Dorment, June 2014

"With objects ranging from the ravishing to the quirky, glittering design and intelligent curation there is much to enjoy at every level." APOLLO MAGAZINE, June 2014



Flaxman: Master of the Purist Line

The sculptor and draughtsman John Flaxman (1755-1826) is here celebrated and described in six essays followed by a catalogue illustrating the various directions of his work. More

Paths to Fame: Turner's Watercolours from the Courtauld - OUT OF PRINT

This catalogue accompanies an exhibition at Dove Cottage, Grasmere, and The Courtauld Gallery, London, which will be the first full display of the Courtauld’s outstanding collection of watercolours by J.M.W. Turner (1775–1851). The collection spans the artist’s career, ranging from an important early view of the Avon Gorge, Bristol, made when Turner was just sixteen years old, to examples of the monumental highly finished watercolours of his maturity and the celebrated expressive late works. More

Joshua Reynolds: Experiments in Paint

Offering new insights into the artistic practice of Sir Joshua Reynolds, this catalogue investigates his radical manipulation of pigments, oils, glazes and varnishes. It traces his experiments with colour, tone and handling, reveals his continual temptation to rework and revise his pictures, and illuminates his highly creative responses to the new exhibition culture of his day. More

Jonathan Richardson By Himself

Jonathan Richardson (1667–1745) was one of 18th-century England’s most significant cultural figures. A leading portrait painter and influential art theorist, he also amassed one of the period’s greatest collections of drawings. But there was another, highly unusual dimension to his pursuits. In 1728, at the age of 61 and shortly before his retirement from professional life, Richardson began to create a remarkable series of self-portrait drawings. Not intended for public display, these works were unguarded explorations of his own character. More

Johan Zoffany: Artist and Adventurer (Paperback)

This beautifully designed and illustrated publication is the first comprehensive biography of the portrait painter Johan Zoffany (1733–1810), one of the leading figures of eighteenth-century British art. ALSO AVAILABLE IN HARDBACK. More

Boucher and Chardin: Masters of Modern Manners

Almost 200 years ago, William Hunter (1718–1783), founder of the Hunterian Museum, Glasgow, was one of a small number of British art collectors to acquire works by his contemporary Jean-Siméon Chardin. Among these, Woman taking Tea (1735) has become something of an iconic image of French art from this period. It has a pair in a near contemporary painting Madame Boucher (1743) by François Boucher in the Frick Collection, New York. Accompanying an exhibition at the Wallace Collection, this catalogue will seek to examine relationships between these two works and their creation... More

François Boucher: Seductive Visions

The first monograph to appear on Boucher in English for nearly twenty years, this book is an invaluable contribution to the study of eighteenth-century art. Boucher has cried out for reassessment, and here at last, following the tercentenary year of his birth, his work is seen at its very best in numerous beautiful reproductions. More

Taking Time: Chardin's Boy building House of Cards and Other Paintings

Recently acquired by Waddesdon Manor, Jean-Siméon Chardin's early masterpiece Boy building House of Cards has a self-contained stillness that contrasts with the splendour of its new setting. This book accompanies an exhibition at Waddesdon that will unite Chardin's four paintings of a boy with a house of cards for the first time. More

Hogarth, France and British Art

"[the book] has the air of brilliant performance about it, of the excitement of meticulous research and proved discovery [...] Simon has written with pace and passion the best book yet on Hogarth, encyclopaedic in its range of enquiry, utterly free of the jargon and nonsense of so much new art history." Brian Sewell, Evening Standard More

Gainsborough's Cottage Doors: An Insight into the Artist’s Last Decade

Inspired by the recent identification of a third autograph version of Gainsborough's masterpiece The Cottage Door, this book examines the significance of the multiple versions of designs that the artist produced during the 1780s. It demonstrates that without the pressure of exhibiting his work annually at the Academy and without a string of sitters waiting for their finished portraits, Gainsborough’s work became more personal, more thoughtful. This study of the last phase of the artist’s work is a totally fresh interpretation of not only The Cottage Door but other key works such as Mrs Sheridan and Diana and Acteon. More

Thomas Banks 1735-1805 Britain's first modern sculptor

This is the only mongraph on the British sculptor Thomas Banks (1735–1805): it covers his entire oeuvre and is richly illustrated with new photographs of his remarkably accomplished sculpture. More

Johan Zoffany: Artist and Adventurer (Hardback)

This beautifully designed and illustrated publication is the first comprehensive biography of the portrait painter Johan Zoffany (1733–1810), one of the leading figures of eighteenth-century British art. ALSO AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK. More

The Soane Hogarths New Revised Edition

A Rake’s Progress (1734-5) and An Election (1755) are the most famous of William Hogarth’s series of ‘modern moral subjects’. Hazlitt described Hogarth’s paintings as ‘A perpetual collision of eccentricities, a tilt and tournament of absurdities, the prejudices and caprices of mankind let loose’ and they still delight, interest and amuse as much today as two hundred years ago and the biting quality of their moral satire is undiminished. More

Pomp and Power: Drawings from Versailles

This lavish and beautiful catalogue illustrates and discusses fifty-two French drawings dating from the late seventeenth century to the early nineteenth century, all from the Chateau de Versailles, which owns one of the finest collections of French drawings in the world. The catalogue has been prepared to accompany their exhibition at the Wallace Collection in autumn 2006. This is the only venue, and the drawings have never been discussed as a group. More

Jean de Jullienne: Collector and Connoisseur

Jean de Jullienne (1686–1766) was one of the leading French amateurs and collectors of the eighteenth century. He played an important role as editor and dealer, most famously of Watteau’s œuvre, and held an influential position in the French art administration of his time, as director of the Gobelins factory until 1729. More

Spanish Drawings in The Courtauld Gallery: Complete Catalogue

Published to accompany the first substantial exhibition on the tradition of Spanish drawings to take place at The Courtauld Gallery, London, this catalogue captures the excitement and importance of this rapidly developing field of study. More

Art in Spain and the Hispanic World: Essays in Honor of Jonathan Brown

Over the course of the last forty years art historian Jonathan Brown has done more than anyone to reform our approach to the art of the Hispanic world between the age of El Greco and Velazquez and that of Goya. More

Gainsborough at Gainsborough's House

Thomas Gainsborough (1727–1788), for some the greatest English artists, was born in the small town of Sudbury on the river Stour in Suffolk in East Anglia. In his house in Sudbury, mainly during the time under the curatorship of Hugh Belsey, the Gainsborough's House Society has built an outstanding collection of paintings, drawings, prints, books and memorabilia relating to the artist and his time. More

Watteau at the Wallace Collection

One of the most famous and influential artists of the eighteenth century, Jean-Antoine Watteau (c. 1684–1721) fundamentally changed the course of French painting. With masterpieces such as Les charmes de la vie, Lady at her Toilet and Les Champs Élisées, the Wallace Collection preserves one of the three outstanding collections of his paintings worldwide (together with Paris and Berlin) but it has never before been the subject of a special exhibition or a separate study. More

The Soane Hogarths

A Rake’s Progress (1734-5) and An Election (1755) are the most famous of William Hogarth’s series of ‘modern moral subjects’. Hazlitt described Hogarth’s paintings as ‘A perpetual collision of eccentricities, a tilt and tournament of absurdities, the prejudices and caprices of mankind let loose’ and they still delight, interest and amuse as much today as two hundred years ago and the biting quality of their moral satire is undiminished. More

The Male Nude: Eighteenth-century Drawings from the Paris Academy OUT-OF-STOCK

Painting in 18th-century France was centred on the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture, where the drawing of the male human figure was at the core of the curriculum. Only after mastering the copying of drawings and engravings, and then casts of antique sculptures, would the student be allowed to progress to drawing the nude figure in the life class. Accompanying an exhibition at the Wallace Collection that is unprecedented in Britain, this beautiful publication includes drawings by Rigaud, Boucher, Nattier, Pierre, Carle van Loo, Gros and Jean-Baptiste Isabey. More

Theatres of Life: Drawings from the Rothschild Collection at Waddesdon Manor

This catalogue accompanied the first ever loan exhibition of drawings from Waddesdon Manor, the house that was built and furnished by Ferdinand de Rothschild (1839-1989) to show off his works of art and to entertain the fashionable world. More

Paintings for the Planet King: Philip IV and the Buen Retiro Palace HARDBACK

Philip IV of Spain (ruled 1621-1665) was known as the 'Planet King', shining brightly in the universe of the arts even if the Golden Age of Spanish painting coincided with imperial decline. The Buen Retiro Palace surpassed any palace ever built in Europe for the collection of paintings it contained - Velázquez, Zurbarán, Rubens, Claude, Poussin.< More

The Spooner Collection of British Watercolours

The Spooner collection of British watercolours is one of the finest of its kind, featuring all the leading artists of the period 1750–1850. Among the fine sheets included are watercolours of the Lake District by John White Abbott, and rural scenes by several artists – Gainsborough, Turner, Cozens, Rowlandson, Francis Towne, Samuel Palmer. Architecture dominates the setting in works by Girtin, Cotman and Sandby. More

A Time and a Place: Two Centuries of Social Irish Life

‘A Time & a Place: Two centuries of Irish social life' focuses, through the art of their time, on Irish people engaged in recreational activities across the last two centuries. The book is arranged thematically, covering areas and subjects such as sport, music and dance, visits to the beach, religious observance and pilgrimage, theatre, circus, calendar customs, fairs and markets, pubs, clubs and parades. More