William Brattle (1706-1776)
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
1978.606
People
John Singleton Copley, American (Boston, MA 1738 - 1815 London, England)
Title
William Brattle (1706-1776)
Classification
Paintings
Work Type
painting
Date
1756
Places
Creation Place: North America, United States
Culture
American
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
128 x 102.5 cm (50 3/8 x 40 3/8 in.)
framed: 143.5 x 118.4 x 7.3 cm (56 1/2 x 46 5/8 x 2 7/8 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: l.l: John: S: Copley. Pinx /1756
  • exhibition label: verso: MFA E no. 332, Special Loan Exhibition of the Works of John Singleton Copley [then owned by Mrs. Paul M. Hamlen, 704 Brush Hill Rd, Milton MA]
  • exhibition label: verso of frame: Boston Athenaeum [then owned by Wm. Appleton, 462 Beacon Street, Value $500]
  • label: verso of frame: Exhibition label(?): MFA no. 372.07
  • exhibition label: verso of frame: TL22134.38, cat. 62, Thomas B. Gannett
  • inscription: on stretcher, in graphite: Mitton {?]
Provenance
Probably to Katherine Brattle Wendell, sitter’s daughter; Mrs. Williams, a descendant, by 1867; purchased by grandfather of William S. Appleton from the Brattle family, by 1873; by descent to William S. Appleton; Estate of Marjorie C. Appleton, by 1915; Thomas Appleton; his sale to Thomas Brattle Gannett, 1925; Mrs. Paul M. Hamlen, his wife; to their son and daughter-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Brattle Gannett, by 1955.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Partial Gift of Mrs. Thomas Brattle Gannett and Partial Purchase through the generosity of Robert T. Gannett, an Anonymous Donor and the Alpheus Hyatt Purchasing Fund
Accession Year
1978
Object Number
1978.606
Division
European and American Art
Contact
am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu
Publication History

Henry T. Tuckerman, Book of the Artists: American Artist Life, Comprising Biographical and Critical Sketches of American Artists, Preceded by an Historical Account of the Rise and Progress of Art in America, Putnam (New York, NY, 1867), p. 72

E. D. Harris, An Account of Some of the Descendants of Captain Thomas Brattle (Boston, MA, 1867), p. 35

Augustus Thorndyke Perkins, A Sketch of the Life and a List of Some of the Works of John Singleton Copley, J. R. Osgood & Company (Boston, MA, 1873), pp. 13-14, 39

Frank William Bayley, A Sketch of the Life and a List of Some of the Works of John Singleton Copley, The Garden Press, W. B. Libby (Boston, MA, 1910), p. 15

Frank William Bayley, The Life and Works of John Singleton Copley: Founded on the Work of Augustus Thorndike Perkins, The Taylor Press (Boston, MA, 1915), pp. 65-66

Loan Exhibition of One Hundred Colonial Portraits, exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Boston, MA, 1930), ill. p. 15

Clifford K. Shipton, Biographical Sketches of Those Who Attended Harvard College, Vol. 7, 1722-1755, Massachusetts Historical Society (Cambridge, MA, 1933), p. 23, ill. p. 11

Alan Burroughs, Limners and Likenesses: Three Centuries of American Painting, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA, 1936), p. 66, fig. 48

Barbara N. Parker and Anne Bolling Wheeler, John Singleton Copley: American Portraits in Oil, Pastel and Miniature, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Boston, MA, 1938), pp. 47-48, pl. 10

John Singleton Copley, exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Boston, MA, 1938), p. 20, cat. 13

Historical Records Survey, Division of Professional and Service Projects, Works Progress Administration, American Portraits, 1620-1825, found in Massachusetts, Volumes 1 and 2, Historical Records Survey (Boston, MA, 1939), p. 50, cat. 263

James Thomas Flexner, John Singleton Copley, Houghton Mifflin Company (Boston, 1948), pp. 26, 127-128, pl. 7

Jules David Prown, John Singleton Copley, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA, 1966), vol. 1, pp. 21, 23, 25, 27, 104, 210, fig. 36

Linda Ayres, Harvard Divided, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1976), p. 115-116, cat. 62, ill.

Robert F. Perkins, Jr. and William J. Gavin, III, Boston Athenaeum Art Exhibition Index, 1827-1874, The Library of the Boston Athenaeum (Boston, MA, 1980), p. 41

Carrie Rebora and Paul J. Staiti, John Singleton Copley in America, exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY, 1995), pp. 180-181

Paul J. Staiti, "Character and Class", John Singleton Copley in America, ed. Carrie Rebora Barratt, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, 1995-1996), p. 56, fig. 41

Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr. and Melissa Renn, American Paintings at Harvard, Volume One: Paintings, Watercolors, and Pastels by Artists Born before 1826, Yale University Press and Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge and New Haven, 2014), pp. 125-126, cat. 77, ill.

Alan Burroughs, "Young Copley", Art In America (October 1943), vol. 31, p. 164

Exhibition History

Unidentified Exhibition, Boston Athenaeum, 1871, Boston Athenaeum, Boston, 01/01/1871 - 12/31/1871

Unidentified Exhibition, Boston Athenaeum, 1871 (2), Boston Athenaeum, Boston, 01/01/1871 - 12/31/1871

Unidentified Exhibition, Boston Athenaeum, 1871-1872, Boston Athenaeum, Boston, 01/01/1871 - 12/31/1872

Unidentified Exhibition, Boston Athenaeum, 1872, Boston Athenaeum, Boston, 01/01/1872 - 12/31/1872

Loan Exhibition of One Hundred Colonial Portraits: Massachusetts Bay Colony Tercentenary, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, 06/19/1930 - 09/21/1930

John Singleton Copley 1737-1815, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, 02/01/1938 - 03/15/1938

Harvard Divided, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 06/03/1976 - 10/10/1976

Subjects and Contexts

Collection Highlights

Verification Level

4 - Best. Object is extensively researched, well described and information is vetted