Sunday, June 29, 2014

Artist: John Singleton Copley - Boston, MA

John Singleton Copley
Copley Square
Boston, MA

GPS: N42° 21.009; W071° 04.599

Short Description: 

The statue of the foremost colonial American painter, John Singleton Copley, is located in the famous public square in Boston that bears his name.

Long Description:

John Singleton Copley was born in Boston in 1738 to poor Irish immigrant parents, Richard and Mary Singleton Copley. At the age of 14 he painted the earliest of his known portraits, a painting of his half-brother Charles Pelham. He became famous for his portraits of aristocratic elegance and grace. In addition to oil paintings, Copley was one of America's first pastel artist.

Building upon his success in America, he desired to expand his reputation to Europe. Artist Benjamin West, urged him to come to London. He sailed to London in 1774. He painted his first important work in 1778, Watson and the Shark, which became a forerunner of 19th century Romantic art depicting the struggle of humans against nature. Copley never returned to America. He died in London on Sept. 9, 1815.

The life-size bronze statue of John Singleton Copley by Lewis Cohen is located on the Boylston Street side of Copley Square in the Back Bay area of Boston. It was dedicated in 2002. Copley is shown standing on a 3' cubic black granite base. he is dressed colonial period attire with ruffled shirt, vest and knee length coat. In his left hand he holds a artists palette while holding brush in the fingers of his right hand.

The base of the statue is inscribed:

John Singleton Copley
1738 - 1815
Boston and London
American Portrait Painter
Member Royal Academy of Arts

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