While examining these portraits, the author considers three questions: what was Wesleys attitude toward the portrait (if any), how did the public respond to these portrayals, and what was the artist attempting to convey? This book focuses on the main portraits and their derivatives, looking at them within the three main categories that developed over the years: Oxford don, Methodist preacher, and notable person. Although these types seemed to arise in chronological order, there is some overlap between categories, especially toward the end of Wesleys life and beyond.
Richard Heitzenrater has devoted his scholarly career to casting new light on the elusive John Wesley. He is
particularly known for probing (and when necessary, decoding) an abundance of Wesleys manuscript and print materials. But
the authors personal artistic bent and pursuit of the whole Wesley also sustained across the decades a remarkably
broad-ranging and insightful exploration of the physical renderings of Wesleyin portraits, etchings, ceramic busts, and
beyond. This volume gathers the rich fruit of this lifetime of exploration. It will be deeply appreciated by all who care
about Wesley and the people called Methodists.
Randy L. Maddox, William Kellon Quick Professor of Wesleyan and Methodist Studies, Duke Divinity School, Durham, NC, and General Editor of the
Bicentennial Edition of The Works of John Wesley