Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Portrait of 18C American Woman

1763 John Singleton Copley 1738-1815 Mrs. Nathaniel Allen (Sarah Sargnet) Minneapolis Inst of Arts

Nathaniel Allen was a member of the new wealthy class in the mercantile and shipping business in Boston, and his wife, Sarah, was 34 at the time this work was painted. When commissioning portraits, successful American colonists wished to be portrayed in the manner of European aristocrats. This was accomplished by copying contemporary English portraits of ladies and gentlemen of fashion. Here, Copley adapted his composition from a mezzotint after William Hogarth's painting of Frances, Lady Byron.