John Singleton Copley

English, American

Boston-raised John Singleton Copley was instructed in art by his stepfather, the mezzotint engraver Peter Pelham. After Pelham’s death, Copley taught himself using the few resources available in colonial Boston. By the age of 20 he was widely known as a portrait painter, recognized for his technical skills and his ability to capture the details of his sitters’ clothes—his patrons were pleased with his work, for they continued to commission portraits and recommend him to family and friends.