Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Mrs. Sylvanus Bourne

Artist:
John Singleton Copley (American, Boston, Massachusetts 1738–1815 London)
Date:
1766
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
50 1/4 x 40 in. (127.6 x 101.6 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Morris K. Jesup Fund, 1924
Accession Number:
24.79
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 748
Mercy Gorham (1695–1782) was born and raised on Cape Cod, in the colony of Massachusetts. In 1718 she married Sylvanus Bourne, a prosperous merchant, and two years later they settled in the port town of Barnstable. The couple had eleven children. Copley painted Mrs. Bourne three years after her husband’s death, when she was seventy-one years old. She holds a book in her lap and gazes toward the viewer with intelligence and good humor.
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