- Gallery Text
Copley painted this portrait of his step-niece ten years after he fled the chaos of revolutionary Boston to settle in London. With its striking, windswept sitter; dramatic background of whites, blues, yellows, and reds; and vigorous brushwork and ridges of impasto, the portrait shows how fully Copley embraced the ideals of high-style British portraiture. It shows a confidence and freedom that is absent in the more direct and methodical works he made in New England.
This portrait is tied to a story of transatlantic travel and exchange. Rogers, born in Massachusetts, went to Europe soon after her marriage in 1781. She and her husband visited the Copley family at Windsor Castle, where this portrait was painted. The work was eventually shipped to Massachusetts, and was passed down through the Rogers family along with several portraits Copley painted while working in Boston in the 1760s.
- Identification and Creation
- Object Number
John Singleton Copley, American (Boston, MA 1738 - 1815 London, England)
- Abigael Bromfield Rogers (Mrs. Daniel Denison Rogers) (1753-1791)
- Work Type
- c. 1784
- Creation Place: North America, United States
Level 2, Room 2220, European and American Art, 17th–19th century, Rococo and Neoclassicism in the Eighteenth Century
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- Physical Descriptions
- Oil on canvas
- 127 x 101.6 cm (50 x 40 in.)
frame: 150.5 x 125.1 x 8.9 cm (59 1/4 x 49 1/4 x 3 1/2 in.)
- Abigail Bromfield Rogers; to her son Henry B. Rogers, Boston, MA; by descent through family to Mrs. W. C. Cabot; to Miss A. P. Rogers, 1915; to a relative, Henry B. Cabot, to his wife, Mrs. Henry B. Cabot, by 1938; to relatives Mr. and Mrs. Paul C. Cabot; their gift to the Fogg Art Museum, 1977.
- Acquisition and Rights
- Credit Line
- Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Paul C. Cabot, Treasurer of Harvard University, 1948-1965 and Mrs. Cabot
- Accession Year
- Object Number
- European and American Art
- 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. 73
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. 99-100
Samuel Green Wheeler Benjamin, Art in America: A Critical and Historical Sketch, Harper and Brothers Publishers (New York, NY, 1880), ill. frontispiece
Martha Babcock Amory, The Domestic and Artistic Life of John Singleton Copley, R.A., Houghton Mifflin Company (Boston, MA, 1882), p. 107
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), p. 209 (as Mrs. Abigail Rogers)
John Singleton Copley, exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Boston, MA, 1938), p. 27, cat. 66
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. 343, cat. 1826
Old and New England, exh. cat., Rhode Island School of Design (Providence, RI, 1945), p. 39, cat. 22, ill.
John Singleton Copley, exh. cat., National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C, 1965), p. 109, cat. 81, color pl. XV
Jules David Prown, John Singleton Copley, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA, 1966), vol. 2, pp. 296, 430, pl. 428
John Singleton Copley (1738-1815), Gilbert Stuart (1755-1828), Benjamin West (1738-1820) in America and England, exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Boston, MA, 1976), p. 29, cat. 18, ill. p. 7
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. 39
James Thomas Flexner, America's Old Masters, Doubleday & Co. (Garden City, NY, 1980), pp. 152-153, ill.
William J. Shank, "John Singleton Copley's Portraits: A Technical Study of Three Representative Examples", Journal of the American Institute for Conservation (Washington, D.C., 1984), vol. 23, pp. 130-152, pp. 134-135, ill.
Timothy Anglin Burgard, American Art at Harvard: Cultures and Contexts, brochure, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 1994), p. 11, cat. 51
Leslie Reinhardt, "John Singleton Copley in England", Archives of American Art Journal, Smithsonian Institution (Detroit, MI, 1994), vol. 34, no. 4, pp. 28-32, p. 29, ill. p. 30
William L. Pressly, "The Challenge of New Horizons", John Singleton Copley in England, ed. Emily Ballew Neff, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (Houston, TX, 1995), pp. 53-54, ill. p. 135
Ellen G. Miles, American Paintings of the Eighteenth Century, exh. cat., National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C, 1995), p.226
Emily Ballew Neff, ed., John Singleton Copley in England, exh. cat., The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (Houston, TX, 1995), pp. 134-135, cat. 16, ill.
Erica E. Hirshler, "Copley in Miniature", John Singleton Copley in America, ed. Carrie Rebora Barratt, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY, 1995-1996), pp. 117-126, p. 124
Robin Jaffee Frank, Love and Loss: American Portrait and Mourning Miniatures, exh. cat., Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, CT, 2000), pp. 134-136, 345, fig. 74.
Kimberly Orcutt, Process and Paradox: The Historical Pictures of John Singleton Copley, exh. cat., Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2004), pp. 3-4, ill., 12
Margaret A. Hogan, ed., The Adams Papers: Adams Family Correspondence, January 1786 - February 1787, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA, 2005), p. 38, fig. 3
John Updike, Still Looking: Essays on American Art, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. (New York, 2005), ill. p. 21
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. 151-152, cat. 94, ill.
Theodore Bolton and Henry Lorin Binsse, "John Singleton Copley", The Antiquarian (New York, NY, December 1930), pp. 116-118., p. 118
William J. Shank, "John Singleton Copley's Portraits: A Technical Study of Three Representative Examples" (thesis (certificate in conservation), Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, July 1983), Unpublished, pp. 1-45 passim
- Exhibition History
Unidentified Exhibition, Boston Athenaeum, 1828, Boston Athenaeum, Boston, 01/01/1828 - 12/31/1828
John Singleton Copley 1737-1815, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, 02/01/1938 - 03/15/1938
Old and New England, Rhode Island School of Design, Museum of Art, Providence, 01/19/1945 - 02/19/1945
John Singleton Copley, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 09/18/1965 - 10/31/1965; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 11/20/1965 - 01/02/1966; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, 01/22/1966 - 03/06/1966
Copley, Stuart and West in America and England, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, 10/17/1976 - 11/07/1976
American Art at Harvard: Cultures and Contexts, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 10/01/1994 - 12/30/1994
John Singleton Copley in England, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 10/11/1995 - 01/07/1996; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston, 02/04/1996 - 04/28/1996
Process and Paradox: The Historical Pictures of John Singleton Copley, Harvard University Art Museums, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 05/08/2004 - 08/29/2004
32Q: 2220 18th-19th Century, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/01/2014 - 01/01/9999
- Subjects and Contexts
Google Art Project
- Verification Level
4 - Best. Object is extensively researched, well described and information is vetted