John S. Copley

John S. Copley

John Singleton Copley

Mrs. Sylvester Gardiner
Mrs. Alexander Cumming

I will be comparing and contrasting two pieces of work from John Singleton Copley who in which most believed to be the greatest of his time. This is because he was a realism painter. In this era portraits were practically the only art form available in the colonies and were in great demand. He depicted his sitters in realistic poses, painted the natural way the persons features were, how the fabric would fold and fall. The two pieces of work are the portrait of Mrs. Sylvester Gardiner formerly Mrs. William Eppes (Abigail Pickman) 1769 and portrait of Mrs. Alexander Cumming (Elizabeth Goldthwaite) 1770.

Mrs. Cumming painting which is very dark and used very little color he used the light that reflected off her form and fabric to show the artful aspect of light on different forms and textures. In Abigail’s painting he also added a scenic background compared to the very dark, solid background he used for Elizabeth’s portrait.

I choose these two pieces of work because of the realistic nature. It was amazing to me that with such little supplies that were available in the mid 1700’s could someone create such pieces of art. The pieces are similar because they are both portraits but the way he represented the women were different. With Abigail Pickman he used more color and scenery as with Elizabeth Goldthwaite on the other hand he used almost no color at all.

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