National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION

Tour: John Singleton Copley (American, 1738-1815)

Overview | Start Tour

image of The Copley Family image of Watson and the Shark image of The Death of the Earl of Chatham
7 8 9
image of The Red Cross Knight image of Colonel William Fitch and His Sisters Sarah and Ann Fitch image of Baron Graham
10 11 12
« back to American painting


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.


1John Singleton Copley, Jane Browne, 1756
2John Singleton Copley, Epes Sargent, c. 1760
3John Singleton Copley, Anne Fairchild Bowler (Mrs. Metcalf Bowler), c. 1763
4John Singleton Copley, Elizabeth Gray Otis (Mrs. Samuel Alleyne Otis), c. 1764
5John Singleton Copley, Eleazer Tyng, 1772
6John Singleton Copley, Abigail Smith Babcock (Mrs. Adam Babcock), c. 1774
7John Singleton Copley, The Copley Family, 1776/1777
8John Singleton Copley, Watson and the Shark, 1778
9John Singleton Copley, The Death of the Earl of Chatham, 1779
10John Singleton Copley, The Red Cross Knight, 1793
11John Singleton Copley, Colonel William Fitch and His Sisters Sarah and Ann Fitch, 1800/1801
12John Singleton Copley, Baron Graham, 1804