The Return of Neptune

Artist: John Singleton Copley (American, Boston, Massachusetts 1738–1815 London)

Date: ca. 1754

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 27 1/2 x 44 1/2 in. (69.9 x 113 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Orme Wilson, in memory of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. Nelson Borland, 1959

Accession Number: 59.198


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.