Pope’s Introduction to Dryden, at Wills’ Coffee House (1858)

'Pope's Introduction to Dryden' by Eyre Crowe (1857)

'Pope's Introduction to Dryden' by Eyre Crowe (1858). Image from the Art Renewal Centre website

Medium: oil

Size: 68 x 90 cm

Exhibited: Royal Academy, 1858; International Exhibition, London, 1862

Original caption: ‘I had the honour of bringing Mr. Pope up to London, from our retreat in the forest of Windsor, to dress à la mode, and introduce at Will’s Coffee Room’ (Sir C. Wogan’s letter to Swift)

Pope’s Introduction to Dryden was owned in 1862, when it was shown at the International Exhibition at South Kensington in London, by a W. Reed. It descended to Canon Martin Reed by 1924. It was put up for auction at Sotheby’s in London on 10 November 1981 and 12 November 1992, and again in 1998, and is still in private ownership.

A sketch of the man on the left hand side, standing on the upturned chair, was executed in 1857 and sold by Abbott & Holder to a private owner for £150 on 26 October 1991.

Athenaeum, 15 May 1858:

His other picture is interesting as a portrait picture, but has little story or expression, and shows small imagination, but much industry. It is called Pope’s Introduction to Dryden (1104). Sir C. Wogan is introducing the clever Windsor boy and showing his verses to the old poet in his snug nook at the window, while Steele, Tonson, Addison, Congreve, Vanbrugh and others club round in appropriate action.

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