Alexander Pope

about 1736
Jonathan Richardson (English, 1667–1745)


76.5 x 63.2 cm (30 1/8 x 24 7/8 in.) Framed: H. 43 in.; W. 38 in.

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Oil on canvas

On View

Alan and Simone Hartman Galleries (Gallery 241)





Poet Alexander Pope was an important voice in early 18th-century England, known for his satirical and critical verse. Published in 1711, his An Essay on Criticism spawned the famous line: “To err is human, to forgive divine.”


By 1807, Francis Rawdon-Hastings (b. 1754 - d. 1826), 1st Marquess of Hastings, Donington Park, Leicestershire, England [see note 1]; until 1869, passed by descent within the family at Donington Park; February 25, 1869, Marquis of Hastings sale, Phillips, London, lot 84, sold for £47.50 to Henry Graves, London; 1869, sold by Graves to James T. Fields (b. 1817 - d. 1881), Boston [see note 2]; to his widow, Annie Adams Fields (b. 1834 - d. 1915), Boston; 1915, to the estate of Mrs. Fields [see note 3]; 1924, gift of Dr. Zabdiel B. Adams, residuary legatee under the will of Mrs. Fields, to the MFA. (Accession Date: February 7, 1924)

[1] First recorded at Donington Park by John Britton, Beauties of England and Wales, vol. 9 (London, 1807), p. 400. [2] James T. Fields, Yesterdays with Authors (Boston, 1871), p. 4. According to Fields, the portrait had been "painted from life by Richardson for the Earl of Burlington." [3] First lent to the MFA by the estate of Annie Fields, February 5, 1915.

Credit Line

James T. Fields Collection