John Singleton Copley (American, 17381815)
Oil on canvas; 50 x 40 in. (127 x 101.6 cm)
Bequest of Richard De Wolfe Brixey, 1943 (43.86.4)
Augustus Brine (17691840) was the son of Admiral James Brine of the Royal British Navy, by his first wife, Jane Knight. At the age of thirteen, in 1782, Brine enlisted in the Navy as a midshipman aboard the Belliqueux under the command of his father. In 1790, he was made lieutenant and, eight years later, he became a commander. During the War of 1812, he commanded the Medway and successfully captured the American brig Syran. He was named rear admiral in 1822. This portrait of young Brine was painted in 1782, seven years after Copley had arrived in England.