John Singleton Copley (American, 17381815)
Oil on canvas; 27 1/2 x 44 1/2 in. (69.9 x 113 cm)
Gift of Mrs. Orme Wilson, in memory of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. Nelson Borland, 1959 (59.198)
Copley derived this image, one of his first history paintings, from an engraving of 1749 by Simon Francois Ravenet after a design by the Italian painter Andrea Casali. Nepture is attended by mermaids, tritons, and marine amorini bearing attributes of the sea. It is among Copley's earliest works, executed when the artist was about fifteen years old; he probably found the print in the collection of his stepfather, Peter Pelham.