Secrets & Symbols: Teresa Blount Portrait

Time Period
1623 to 1763
Media Type
Art & Architecture
Decorative Arts

Portrait of Teresa Blount, about 1710–20s
Unknown artist
VMHC Collection 

Traditionally, portraits contain clues to a sitter’s social identity. This image depicts Teresa Blount (1688–1759), an English socialite and friend and muse of the poet Alexander Pope (1688–1744). She holds sheet music and sits at a spinet, a type of small harpsichord—items symbolizing her genteel status and musical talents.