‘For Pembroke: Statues, dirty Gods, and Coins’

Posted in journal articles by Editor on August 25, 2009

Thomas Herbert, 8th Earl of Pembroke

1_fullsizeNot for himself he sees, or hears, or eats;

Artists must choose his Pictures, Music, Meats:

He buys for Topham, Drawings and Designs,

For Pembroke, Statues, dirty Gods, and Coins;

Rare monkish Manuscripts for Hearne alone,

And Books for Mead, and Butterflies for Sloane

– Alexander Pope, “Epistle IV, to Lord Burlington” (“On Taste”), 1730s

For Pope – taking aim at those he saw as pretenders to taste – collectors such as Thomas Herbert, the 8th Earl of Pembroke (ca. 1656-1733), stood out as important models, easily aped but rarely emulated in a meaningful manner.


Lenos Sarcophagus (Wilton House Collection)


King's Closet at Wilton House

The current issue (July/August) of Apollo Magazine is dedicated to the Earls of Pembroke and their seat at Wilton House. Francis Russell surveys the paintings of the 8th Earl, Elizabeth Angelicoussis focuses on four Roman sarcophagi from his collection, and John Martin Robinson addresses a set of early eighteenth-century furniture acquired for Wilton House by Catherine Woronzow, the Russian wife of the 11th Earl, in the early nineteenth century from Wanstead House, Essex.

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