Tour: John Singleton Copley (American, 1738-1815)
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John Singleton Copley, the foremost artist in colonial America, was virtually self-taught as a portraitist. By meticulously recording details, he created powerful characterizations of his Boston sitters. After he emigrated to London in 1774, Copley began to specialize in narrative scenes from history and joined the influential artistic institution, the Royal Academy of Art. Copley demonstrated a genius, in both his American and British periods, for rendering surface textures and capturing emotional immediacy.