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The Pourtraiture of John Bunyan' revisited: Robert White and Images of the Author

Abstract : This article examines the work and career of the engraver Robert White in the late 1670s, most notably his involvement with Nathaniel Ponder, the publisher of The Pilgrim's Progress, and his famous engraving of John Bunyan as a sleeper on the title-page of the allegory. It argues that poor derivatives of White's frontispiece have prevented us from seeing it for what it was: the work of a fashionable society engraver and miniaturist whose attention to Bunyan, on Ponder's behalf, was a striking oddity that deserves a closer look. A consideration of Robert White's oeuvre and working practices will illustrate the need to reassess the nature and use of the Bunyan graphite that was allegedly used as a model for the sleeping portrait. The article proposes fresh ways to approach the early illustrations of Bunyan's allegories--from the sleeping portrait to the oval frontispieces engraved by White, by his pupil John Sturt, by Thomas Burnford and Fredrick van Hove. In doing so, it will suggest ways in which early representations of Bunyan may have shaped his reception and reputation in the seventeenth century
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Contributor : Anne Dunan-Page <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, June 25, 2013 - 4:55:54 PM
Last modification on : Monday, November 23, 2020 - 3:07:11 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Thursday, September 26, 2013 - 4:20:46 AM


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  • HAL Id : halshs-00838501, version 1



Anne Dunan-Page. The Pourtraiture of John Bunyan' revisited: Robert White and Images of the Author. Bunyan Studies : A Journal of Reformation and Nonconformist Culture, The International John Bunyan Society, 2008, 13, pp.7-39. ⟨halshs-00838501⟩



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