Monday, November 18, 2013

John Singleton Copley 1738-1815 paints a few older women


1763 John Singleton Copley (American colonial era artist, 1738-1815) Sarah Tyler (Mrs. Samuel Phillips Savage)


1764 John Singleton Copley (American colonial era artist, 1738-1815) Miriam Kilby (Mrs. Samuel Hill)


Whether painting fancy matrons wearing the latest fashions or plainly dressed, more formal religious women, many of John Singleton Copley's paintings of older New England women seem more direct, thoughtful, & stronger than his portraits of younger women.


1764 John Singleton Copley (American colonial era artist, 1738-1815) Mrs. Anna Dummer Powell.


Copley lets us know that these are the surviving matriarchs who deserve the best upholstered chair in the candlelit parlor. Old age offers the leisure & independence to read & to reflect.


1766 John Singleton Copley (American colonial era artist, 1738-1815) Sarah Morecock (Mrs. Thomas Boylston)


Many are holding books, actively involved in the life of the mind & the world beyond Boston. Copley & his sitters decided to show that continuing to seek knowledge was important in 18th century New England whether for devotion, entertainment, or instruction.


1766 John Singleton Copley (American colonial era artist, 1738-1815) Mrs Sylvanus Bourne


1766 John Singleton Copley (American colonial era artist, 1738-1815) Ann Sargent (Mrs. Nathaniel Ellery)


1767-69 John Singleton Copley (American colonial era artist, 1738-1815) Mary Edwards (Mrs Ebenezer Storer)


1767 John Singleton Copley (American colonial era artist, 1738-1815) Hannah White (Mrs Robert Hooper)


1769 John Singleton Copley (American colonial era artist, 1738-1815) Mrs. Isaac Royall.


1770 John Singleton Copley (American colonial era artist, 1738-1815) Katherine Graves (Mrs James Russell)


1770 John Singleton Copley (American colonial era artist, 1738-1815) Relief Dowse (Mrs Michael Gill)


A very touching letter exits between artist John Greenwood, then in England, and John Singleton Copley still in Boston, about mothers growing old and wearing plain clothing. Greenwood wrote in 1770, that he would like Copley to paint a portrait of his mother and send it to Greenwood in London. "Portrait of my Hond. Mother, who resides at present nigh Marblehead, but is often in Boston, as I have of late enter'd into connections, that may probably keep me longer in London than I could wish, I am very desirous of seeing the good Lady's Face as she now appears, with old age creeping upon her...sitting in as natural a pose as possible...I shall observe that gravity is my choice of dress." I will include the Copley portrait of John Greenwood's mother, Mrs. Humphrey Devereux, next.


1771 John Singleton Copley (American colonial era artist, 1738-1815) Mary Charnock (Mrs. Humphrey Devereux, Mrs. Samuel Greenwood, Mrs. Joseph Prince)


1771 John Singleton Copley (American colonial era artist, 1738-1815) Mrs. Paul Richard (Elizabeth Garland)


1771 John Singleton Copley (American colonial era artist, 1738-1815) Elizabeth Lewis (Mrs Ezekiel Goldthwait)


1773 John Singleton Copley (American colonial era artist, 1738-1815) Hannah Fayerweather (Mrs John Winthrop).


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