John Singleton Copley: 11 works

A slideshow of artworks auto-selected from multiple collections

By Google Arts & Culture

Thomas Greene (1758) by John Singleton Copley (American, b.Circa 1738, d.1815)Cincinnati Art Museum

'The luxuriant stuffs Copley rendered so exquisitely announced their owners' status. Thomas Greene, a merchant born into a prominent family, was one of Copley's Boston patrons.'

Portrait of a Boy (c. 1758-1760) by John Singleton CopleyThe Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

'Characterized by bold color, theatrical lighting, and attention to fine detail, this portrait beautifully conveys the hallmarks of John Singleton Copley's early style.'

Epes Sargent (c. 1760) by John Singleton CopleyNational Gallery of Art, Washington DC

'Gilbert Stuart would later say of the uncompromising realism in Copley's Epes Sargent, "Prick that hand and blood will spurt forth."'

Thomas Hancock (c. 1758) by John Singleton CopleySmithsonian's National Portrait Gallery

'Lydia Henchman Hancock 1714--1777 Born Boston, Massachusetts Thomas Hancock 1703--1764 Born Lexington, Massachusetts John Singleton Copley painted these pillars of Boston society, aunt and uncle to the patriot John Hancock, near the beginning of his career. Copley trained himself in making paintings "in littel," as oil-on-copper miniatures were then known; the more fashionable European technique of using watercolor on ivory was not yet well established in the colonies.'

Portrait of Elizabeth Deering Wentworth Gould Rogers (Mrs. Nathaniel Rogers) (1765/1765) by John Singleton CopleyHigh Museum of Art

'Here Copley indicates Mrs. Rogers's modesty and gentility through her averted gaze, aristocratic bearing, and fashionable dress.'

Lydia Henchman Hancock (1766) by John Singleton CopleySmithsonian's National Portrait Gallery

'Lydia Henchman Hancock 1714--1777 Born Boston, Massachusetts Thomas Hancock 1703--1764 Born Lexington, Massachusetts John Singleton Copley painted these pillars of Boston society, aunt and uncle to the patriot John Hancock, near the beginning of his career.'

Portrait of Miles Sherbrook (1771/1771) by John Singleton CopleyChrysler Museum of Art

'During the two decades preceding the American Revolution, Copley emerged in Boston as the most distinguished of colonial artists.'

Portrait of Miles Sherbrook (1771) by John Singleton CopleyChrysler Museum of Art

'During the two decades preceding the American Revolution, Copley emerged in Boston as the most distinguished of colonial artists. His many portraits of influential New Englanders were remarkable for their craftsmanlike polish and clarity of design.'

Mrs Humphrey Devereux (1771) by John Singleton CopleyTe Papa

'Greenwood made only one stipulation: that 'gravity is my choice of Dress'.2 This request worked in Copley's favour and prompted him to produce one of the most notable and least artificial portraits from this period of his practice. Mrs Humphrey Devereux has all the characteristics of Copley's Boston portrait style: the splendid rendition of fabrics and textures, and the strong dynamic pose that engages and holds the viewer's attention.'

Portrait of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Mifflin (Sarah Morris) (1773) by John Singleton Copley, American, 1738 - 1815Philadelphia Museum of Art

'Copley always kept a keen eye on his competition, and he may have been inspired to paint both Sarah and Thomas Mifflin on a single canvas by his contemporary Charles Willson Peale, who had recently completed a group portrait of the Philadelphia Cadwalader family that was admired for its portrayal of family unity and affection.'

John Singleton Copley Self-Portrait (1780-1784) by John Singleton CopleySmithsonian's National Portrait Gallery

'Frustrated by the limitations of his provincial environment, where people, he complained, generally regarded art as "no more than any other useful trade," Copley longed to go to Europe to study.'

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