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Artist Copley, John Singleton
Date c. 1805
Medium black and white chalk on blue paper
Culture American
Catalog Number 1973.48
Collection American Scene Collection
Object Name Drawing
Credit line Gift of Frederick R. Pleasants
Didactic Information John Singleton Copley is acknowledged as Colonial America's leading portrait painter. He specialized in miniature portraits and is known for his anatomical knowledge and skill in rendering the human body.

Copley trained under his stepfather, painter and engraver Peter Pelham. Copley was painting polished portraits at age 15, and by 19, was an established professional skilled in the use of pastels and oil paint.

In 1765, some of Copley's paintings were sent to London, where Sir Joshua Reynolds declared them masterpieces "from the wilds of America." He painted such patriots as Paul Revere and Samuel Adams, although he had no sympathy for their cause. In fact, to avoid the political upheaval in the colonies, Copley moved to London in 1774.