The Museum Collection
Painting from Poe's Boyhood Home
Description:This painting hung in Edgar Allan Poe's boyhood home and was bought at the estate sale of that mansion by Mrs. J.B. Pace in 1881. Mrs. Pace willed the painting to the Poe Museum in 1930. It was stored in the home of Mr. Wight from 1950 until June 30, 1961. The painting was restored in the summer of 1981 byL. Cleo Mullins of Richmond, and the frame was restored in the spring of 1982 by Sandra Jensen and Stephan L. Ray of Richmond. The signature and date are visible in the bottom right corner.
The painting is dated 1647 and is the work of Tobias Pock (1609-1683). Pock was born in Konstanz, studied in southern Germany, visited Italy, and, in 1640, settled in Vienna, where he produced portraits, history paintings, and still lifes. He is best remembered for his many paintings of saints for churches in Vienna. During Poe's childhood, this would have already been an old and valuable painting, though its Baroque style would have been unfashionable.
The Allan mansion in which Poe grew up was filled with valuable art and antiques, and the announcements of the estate sale boast the house contained bronze sculptures, oil paintings, and furniture from an 800-year-old castle. Poe's lifelong appreciation of fine art was no doubt cultivated during his childhood with the Allans.