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John Singleton Copley Portrait

John Singleton Copley

Also Known as: John Singleton Copley, the Elder

Boston, Massachusetts 1738

London, England 1815

Photo Caption:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.


Born in Boston, moved to London in 1774. The most celebrated American artist of the 18th century, he achieved great success first as a portraitist in Massachusetts, later as a history painter in England.

Charles Sullivan, ed American Beauties: Women in Art and Literature (New York: Henry N. Abrams, Inc., in association with National Museum of American Art, 1993)

Additional Biographies

Luce Artist Biography

Essentially self-taught, John Singleton Copley became the leading portrait painter in the colonies before moving to England in 1774. He painted miniatures between 1755 and 1770, creating roughly thirty oil-on-copper images and fifteen paintings in watercolor on ivory.