National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Eleazer Tyng John Singleton Copley (painter)
American, 1738 - 1815
Eleazer Tyng, 1772
oil on canvas
overall: 126.5 x 100.2 cm (49 13/16 x 39 7/16 in.) framed: 149.5 x 125.1 cm (58 7/8 x 49 1/4 in.)
Gift of the Avalon Foundation
On View
From the Tour: John Singleton Copley
Object 5 of 12


For sale by unidentified owner, Boston, 1841.[1] Copley Amory [1841-1879];[2] his son, Copley Amory [1866-1960], Washington, D.C.;[3] his wife, Mary Forbes Russell Amory [1870-1961], Washington, D.C., in 1929; their son, Copley Amory, Jr. [1890-1964], Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1944;[4] bequeathed to his nephew, Walter Amory [b. 1924], Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts;[5] purchased 1965 by NGA with funds from the Avalon Foundation.

[1] When the painting was exhibited at the Boston Athenaeum, it was catalogued as "Mr. E. Tyng. For sale" (Robert F. Perkins and William J. Gavin III, The Boston Athenaeum Art Exhibition Index, 1827-1784 (Boston, 1980), 40, no. 59). The seller could have been a distant relative for whom the portrait had no personal value. Of Tyng's five children, only his daughter Sarah Tyng Winslow outlived him. After she died in 1791 without children, the sitter had no direct descendants; see Brother Anthony of Padua, The Tyng Family in America (Poughkeepsie, New York, 1956), 24-28, 51.

[2] Copley Amory, the artist's great-grandson, probably purchased or was given the portrait, since there was no family connection between the Amorys and the Tyngs; see John William Linzee, The Linzee Family of Great Britain and the United States of America [Boston, 1917], 2: 766, 781-782. Amory's ownership was first recorded in 1873.

[3] On Amory see Linzee 1917, 795 and his obituary, The New York Times, 18 April 1960, 29.

[4] The birthdates of Mary Forbes Russell Amory and Copley Amory, Jr., are found in Linzee 1917, 795-796. Their death dates were provided to Ellen Miles by Walter Amory, 19 November 1990. Ethel C. Amory (Mrs. Copley Amory Jr.) documented the gift of the portrait by Copley Amory to Mary Amory and then to Copley Amory, Jr. (letter 1 May 1965, NGA curatorial file).

[5] Walter Amory, letter, 19 November 1990, in NGA curatorial file.

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