Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Pope, Clara Maria

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POPE, CLARA MARIA (d. 1838), painter, and third wife of the actor, Alexander Pope [q. v.], was a daughter of Jared Leigh [q. v.], an amateur artist, and married at an early age Francis Wheatley [q. v.], the painter, whom she served as model for all his prettiest fancy figures. In 1801 she was left a widow with a family of daughters; and on 25 June 1807 married, as his third wife, Alexander Pope [q. v.], the actor and artist. In 1796, while Mrs. Wheatley, she commenced exhibiting at the Royal Academy, her first contributions being miniatures; later she sent rustic subjects with figures of children, such as ‘Little Red Riding-hood,’ ‘Goody Two-shoes,’ and ‘Children going to Market.’ In 1812 Mrs. Pope exhibited a whole-length drawing of Madame Catalani, of which she published an excellent engraving by A. Cardon. During the latter part of her life she enjoyed a great reputation for her groups of flowers, of which she was an annual exhibitor from 1816 until her death. She died at her residence, 29 Store Street, London, on 24 Dec. 1838. Two portraits of Mrs. Pope, painted by her first husband, were engraved by Stanier and Bartolozzi.

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Graves's Dict. of Artists, 1760–1880; Dramatic Mag. January 1830; Royal Academy Catalogues; Gent. Mag. 1839, pt. i. p. 217.]

F. M. O'D.