In her early years Clara Maria Pope worked as an artist’s model, eventually marrying her primary employer, the artist Francis Wheatley. She was a talented miniatures artist and an instructor to elite noble students such as Princess Sophia of Gloucester. After the death of her first husband, Clara married the Irish actor and artist Alexander Pope.
Working as a fashionable portrait artist, Clara Pope connected with the publisher of Botanical Magazine, Samuel Curtis. She contributed monumental aquatints, hand-colored in watercolor for Curtis’s Monograph of the Genus Camellia (1819) and Beauties of Flora. Pope is best remembered as a celebrated botanical illustrator.