ART: JOHN SINGLETON COPLEY: RISING STAR

HOW JOHN SINGLETON COPLEY BECAME COLONIAL AMERICA'S BEST PORTRAITIST

JOHN SINGLETON COPLEY IN AMERICA," the show of some 75 paintings that opened last week at New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art, is a thoroughly absorbing affair. There has never been any doubt about Copley's importance to American art. He was the best portraitist the young colony produced in the 18th century. He was also its second major cultural expatriate, after Benjamin West. His career falls into two halves, the first set in provincial Boston and New York, the second in imperial London. And yet, fine as his English work was, one may prefer his American paintings, with their hard-won...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!