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Part of The American Wing
John Singleton Copley (American, Boston, Massachusetts 1738–1815 London)
Date: 1773Accession Number: 31.109
Date: 1782Accession Number: 43.86.4
Date: 1771Accession Number: 49.12
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The George M. and Linda H. Kaufman Galleries
More portraits by John Singleton Copley (1738–1815) grace this gallery. Before leaving his native Boston for England in 1774, Copley had become the leading portraitist of the colonial era. Throughout New England and New York, he depicted contemporary merchant princes, political leaders, clergymen, and their wives and children. Taking his cues from John Smibert and Joseph Blackburn, whom he quickly surpassed in skill and ingenuity, Copley studied mezzotints after contemporary British canvases the better to serve his discriminating Anglophile clients—American noblewomen of intelligence and high character and men who appreciated his gift for conveying aristocratic elegance and gentility. His career was a triumph, and he later established a highly successful practice as a portraitist and history painter in London. Hanging from the vaulted ceiling is William Rush's grand-scale carved-and-gilded eagle in full flight.
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