John Singleton Copley’s profile picture

John Singleton Copley

Anglo-American painter
John Singleton Copley’s profile picture
Net worth 2018: Under Review
Industry: Painters
Residence: Boston, United States
Country: United States
Died On: September 9, 1815

John Singleton Copley was born in Boston, United States, American, is Anglo-American painter. John Singleton Copley was one of the most prominent painters in colonial America and England. He was famous for his portrait paintings of important figures in colonial England. He had an innovative and different style of depicting his subjects and had an uncanny ability to create impressive illusions of people with distinct textures of skin, hair and textiles using dramatic contrasts of light and dark. Not much is known about Copley’s boyhood and youth, but it is an accepted fact that he received training in painting, printmaking and portraiture from the famous engraver Peter Pelham who later became Copley’s step-father. Besides Pelham, the young Copley also came under the influence of English artists, John Smibert and Joseph Blackburn, both of whom had impacted the painting styles of the 17th and 18th centuries. Copley had the chance to see and examine the paintings of these great artists. Joseph Blackburn was the most significant influence upon the development of his artistic abilities. He got the opportunity to learn about compositions, rocco poses and themes from Blackburn’s work. A lifelong observer and learner, Copley developed such a high degree of artistic excellence that he went on to become the first American painter to achieve a high level of social status as well as financial recognition.


He suffered a paralytic stroke and died soon after in 1815, at the age of 77


In 1781, he made an oil painting titled, ‘The Death of the Earl of Chatham’, which cemented his reputation as a historical painter


He drew ‘Watson and the Shark’ in 1778 which depicted the rescue of a boy named Brook Watson from a shark attack


He confidently began his English career in 1775 hoping to make himself a place among the celebrated British artists


Copley went to London in 1774 and was soon joined by his family


Copley married Susanna Clarke, the beautiful daughter of Richard Clarke, a wealthy merchant, in 1769


He exhibited his painting of ‘A Boy with a Squirrel’, which depicted a boy seated at a table playing with a pet squirrel in England in 1766


His mother managed a small tobacco shop to earn a living, and she later married the engraver Peter Pelham in 1748

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