Gift of John H., Class of 1907, and Hannah Kellett Halford
John Singleton Copley, born of Irish immigrants in Boston, was introduced to art by his English stepfather, Peter Pelham, a portrait painter and mezzotint engraver. In his youth he often visited John Smibert’s studio and saw Smibert’s copies of European paintings, such as Nicolas Poussin’s The Continence of Scipio, also seen in this gallery. This portrait of Colonel Charles Chivers is exceedingly elegant and well-finished. It was likely painted during the late 1770s or early 1780s, after Copley had moved to England. The Chivers family was British, evident by the Colonel’s red uniform coat, and many of its members are recorded in the registers of the Bath Abbey.
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