30 JULY 1921, Page 15


[To THE EDITOR Or THE " SPECRATOR."] SIR,—Yon alluded a few weeks ago to pictures painted by Pope. I have only recently met with the enclosed extract, which I forward in case you should find it of interest.—I am, Sir, &c., "Lives of British Painters, by Allan Cunningham. Vol. I., p. -21. 1830. 'Reynolds.'

I have already said that R. was an admirer of Pope. A fan which the poet presented to Martha Blount, and on which be had painted with his own hand the story of Cephalus and Procris with the motto, 'Aura Veni,' was to be sold by auction, and Sir Joshua sent a person to bid for it as far as 30 guineas. The messenger imagined that he said 30 shillings and allowed the relic to go for two pounds; a profit, however, was allowed to the purchaser and it was put into the hands of the President. See,' said he to his pupils who gathered round him, 'see the painting of Pope—this must always be the case when the work is taken up from idleness and is laid aside when it ceases to amuse; it is like the work of one who paints only for amusement. Those who are resolved to excel must go to their work, willing or unwilling, morning, noon and night; they will find it to be no play, but very hard labour.' This fan was afterwards stolen out of his study; as a relique of that import- ance cannot be openly displayed to the world by the person who abstracts it, it is not easy to imagine what manner of enthusiast the thief could be."