During his first trip to Italy, exposure to the Renaissance masters and their glorification of ancient models reinforced Copley's youthful ambition and opened a range of new subject matter.

Mrs.Eleazer Tyng thumbnail

Copley began experimenting with complicated religious, mythological, or literary compositions, abandoning the straightforward portraits--usually of single sitters-- that had been a hallmark of his early career.


Left: John Singleton Copley, The Ascension 1775, oil on canvas. The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Photograph © 1996 The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Thumbnail, left: Copley. Mrs. Metcalf Bowler, c.1763. National Gallery of Art, Gift of Louise Alida Livingston. 1968.1.1. Thumbnail, right: Copley, Eleazer Tyng,1772. National Gallery of Art, Gift of The Avalon Foundation 1965.6.1  

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