John singleton Copley was an American artist he was born in Boston and had died in London England. He was born on July 3 1738. He had died September 9 1815. He was mainly a painter. John had wanted to become an artist because of his Stepfather Peter Pelham a successful mezzotint engraver. After johns Stepfathers death he had adopted (took) his career as a Mezzotint engraver publishing his first portrait " reverend William Welsteed", also in his early teens. Copley, however, had the higher artistic ambition of becoming a history painter. To achieve this end, he painted copies of engravings of history paintings on mythological themes, notably “Galatea 1754”,” and The Forge of Vulcan” 1754, and avidly studied theoretical and anatomical treatises. In Boston, john c grew up within a relatively thriving art community. But by the mid-1750s John Smibert and Robert Feke had died, John Greenwood had moved from Boston, and Joseph Badger's mediocre talent posed no threat to Copley's precocity. Only Joseph Blackburn, painting in Boston in the mid-1750s, offered much competition. He had the greatest influence on Copley's emerging portrait style, providing him with firsthand knowledge of the rococo manner in English portraiture. – Biography.com.
WATSON AND THE SHARK: “John Singleton Copley’s dramatic event of a shark attacking 14-year-old Brook Watson caused a sensation when it was exhibited at London’s Royal Academy in 1778.. Copley depicts the boy’s climactic rescue: just as the shark zeroed in for its third strike, a determined crewmate armed with a boat hook drove it away. - “http://www.nga.gov/content/ngaweb/Collection/highlights/highlight46471.html
Mezzotint- a print made from an engraved copper or steel plate on which the surface has been partially roughened, for shading, and partially scraped smooth, giving light areas. The technique was much used in the 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries for the reproduction of paintings.
Precocity- the state or tendency to be precocious