Wednesday, January 26, 2011

John Singleton Copley Paints 3 Cousins in Same Brown Dress

.1746 English Mezzotint by artist John Faber, Jr., after Thomas Hudson, The Right Honourable Mary Finch, Viscountess Andover. (The print my be seen at the British Museum in London and at the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California.)

In 1763, these 3 sitters apparently planned with John Singleton Copley to be portrayed in nearly identical brown costumes & outdoor settings copied from John Faber's 1746 English mezzotint. Lucretia Chandler Murray & Mary Greene Hubbard were cousins. Mary Greene Hubbard was also a cousin of Katherine Greene Amory.

It is likely that Copley finished these portraits in his studio over a period of months. He probably painted heads & hands in person and added settings & costumes to his subjects at a later date. He was incredibly busy, and he often did not finish his portraits one at a time.

In October 1757, Capt. Thomas Ainslie of Nova Scotia wrote to Copley that he had received his portrait, which "gives me great Satisfaction." Ainslie and others invited Copley to come to Canada "where there are several people who would be glad to employ You."Copley replied: "I should receive a singular pleasure in excepting, if my Business was anyways slack, but it is so far otherwise that I have a large Room full of Pictures unfinished, which would ingage me these twelve months if I did not begin any others."

1763 John Singleton Copley (1738-1815). Mary Greene (Mrs. Daniel Hubbard).1763 John Singleton Copley (1738-1815). Lucretia Chandler (Mrs John Murray).
1763 John Singleton Copley (1738-1815) Katherine Greene (Mrs John Amory)..