The artistic and literary career of Charles Jervas (c.1675-1739)

Pegum, Caroline (2010). The artistic and literary career of Charles Jervas (c.1675-1739). University of Birmingham. M.Phil.


Download (6MB)


Charles Jervas (c.1675-1739) was an Irish-born portrait painter who rose to the position of Principal Painter to King George I and II, succeeding his former teacher Sir Godfrey Kneller. His life and career have hitherto evaded a comprehensive study, possibly a legacy of the ridicule to which his person and oeuvre have long been subjected. The purpose of this study is to reassess the course and nature of Jervas’s career, and particularly in relation to three distinct patron groups; Sir Robert Walpole and his fellow-Whigs; the royal family and court; and William Digby, 5th Baron Digby of Geashill. In spite of his successful artistic career in London and Ireland, Jervas has often been remembered primarily for his friendships with literary contemporaries (most importantly Alexander Pope) rather than his artistic practice or his own writings. Jervas’s literary achievements, most famously his new translation into English of Cervantes’ Don Quixote (1742) are critically reassessed. A detailed biography, exploration of the artist’s extended period of training in continental Europe (1698-1708/09) and an illustrated catalogue raisonné of Jervas’s oeuvre are included in the scope of the present study.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Phil.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Phil.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music, Department of Art History, Curating and Visual Studies
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: N Fine Arts > ND Painting
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
D History General and Old World > D History (General)


Request a Correction Request a Correction
View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year