John Singleton Copley, Robert Hooper, ca. 1770-1772, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Diane and Norman Bernstein, 2006.12.1
Mr. Hooper was the son of Robert King Hooper, who owned a fishing fleet that worked out of Marblehead, Massachusetts. The younger man already sports the rotund physique that Copley had captured in a portrait of Hooper's father years earlier. Behind him, the sea, visible through an open window, recalls the source of his family’s riches. Robert had graduated from Harvard in 1763, and Copley's painting shows him settling into the comfortable life of a merchant prince.
Copley owed his living to this new class, whose wealth supported the artists, writers, and educators of the colonies. He had joined the elite not long before, through his marriage to Susanna Clarke, daughter of a prominent Boston merchant. The union literally moved Copley up in the world, where he and "Sukey" bought property on Beacon Hill, above downtown Boston.
Exhibition Label, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2006
- ca. 1770-1772
- On View
50 x 40 in. (127.0 x 101.6 cm)
- Credit Line
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Gift of Diane and Norman Bernstein
- Mediums Description
- oil on canvas
- Occupation – industry – fishing
- Portrait male – Hooper, Robert, Jr.
- Object Number
- Research Notes
- Linked Open Data
- Linked Open Data URI