Monday, 7 March 2016

Samuel Clarke and a bust of Isaac Newton

Dr Samuel Clarke (1675 - 1729)
Portrait by Charles Jervas (1675 - 1739).
c. 1729/30
NB Portrait bust of Isaac Newton right hand background. 
Royal Collection - possibly painted for Queen Caroline.
Dr Samuel Clarke is known today as a footnote to Pope’s line ‘Nor in a hermitage set Dr. Clark’ (‘Epistle to Lord Burlington’, l 78), which criticised Queen Caroline for including Clarke in the company of Newton and others in her Hermitage at Richmond. In fact Clarke was a distinguished theologian, scholar, philosopher and natural scientist, who studied with Newton and corresponded with Leibniz. In his theological works he attempted to defend Anglican doctrine in a rationalist manner, making him an influential enlightenment thinker. Queen Anne made Clarke one of her chaplains in Ordinary and in 1709 he was made rector of St James’s Piccadilly. Queen Caroline’s admiration for him is demonstrated by the Hermitage and by this painting, with its eulogistic inscription written by Benjamin Hoadley (1676-1761), (see below) which was hung at Kensington Palace. Clarke is shown with a bust of Newton, below which are arranged four books: Bacon’s ‘Essays’, Boyle’s ‘Lectures’, Newton’s ‘Principia’ and ‘Optica’ (presumably Clarke’s Latin translation of his ‘Opticks’).
Text and image courtesy:
for an excellent brief biography of Clarke and his philosophies and his relationship with Isaac Newton see:
Clarke was offered the post of Master of the Mint after the death of Newton in 1727 but refused it.
Dr Samuel Clarke
John Simon
after Thomas Gibson
Early 18th Century
© National Portrait Gallery, London
Dr Samuel Clarke
John Simon
Mezzotint Early Eighteenth Century
© National Portrait Gallery, London
© National Portrait Gallery, London
Dr Samuel Clarke
Engraving by George Vertue after T Gibson.
(320 mm x 187 mm) paper size
© National Portrait Gallery, London
Dr Samuel Clarke
Engraving (481 mm x 339 mm) paper size
c. 1740
Jacobus Houbraken
© National Portrait Gallery, London
Dr Samuel Clarke
by Jamé Verhych
Lead Bust
Beningbrough Hall
National Portrait Gallery.
© National Portrait Gallery, London
Samuel Clarke
by Guelphi
Dr Benjamin Hoadly with a bust of Isaac Newton after Roubiliac
William Hogarth c. 1738.
Oil on canvas. 60.7 x 47.9 cms.
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. England
Smart sale, London, Foster & Son, 16 January 1850 (32), bt. White; William Benoni White sale, Christie's, 24 May 1879 (200), bt. Cox; coll. Joseph Prior, Cambridge (1834-1918); with Charles Fairfax Murray by 1902. Given in 1908 by Fairfax Murray

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