John Singleton Copley (American, Boston, Massachusetts 1738–1815 London)
Oil on canvas
27 1/2 x 44 1/2 in. (69.9 x 113 cm)
Gift of Mrs. Orme Wilson, in memory of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. Nelson Borland, 1959
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 717
A prodigious talent at fifteen, John Singleton Copley learned his trade by copying reproductions of Italian mythological paintings. This charming juvenilia depicting Neptune and his retinue reminds us that Copley and the sitters in his later, mature portraits lived along the New England Coast and were deeply connected—economically and psychologically—to the sea.
Jonathan Simpson, Boston, by 1774; Miss Simpson, until at least 1873; Mr. and Mrs. J. Nelson Borland; their daughter, Mrs. Orme Wilson