Mrs. Sylvanus Bourne

John Singleton Copley American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 717

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.

Mrs. Sylvanus Bourne, John Singleton Copley (American, Boston, Massachusetts 1738–1815 London), Oil on canvas, American

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