<< YCBA Home Yale Center for British Art Yale Center for British Art << YCBA Home

YCBA Collections Search

IIIF Actions
Neff, Emily Ballew, 1963–

John Singleton Copley in England / Emily Ballew Neff ; with an essay by William L. Pressly.

Houston, Tex. : Museum of Fine Arts, 1995.
Physical Description:
182 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 30 cm.
Reference Library
NJ18.C75 N44 1995 (LC)
Accessible in the Reference Library [Hours]
Note: Please contact the Reference Library to schedule an appointment [Email ycba.reference@yale.edu]

"In association with Merrell Holberton Publishers, London."
"This exhibition [held at] National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., October 11, 1995-January 7, 1996 [and] the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston, Texas, February 4-April 28, 1996"--T.p. verso.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 176-182) and index.
John Singleton Copley is well known in America as the creator of the finest portraits of the Colonial era. Less well known is the fact that he left America in 1774, when the impending armed struggle between the Colonies and England threatened to destroy his livelihood, and settled in London to pit himself ambitiously against the Old Masters and the English giants of the day. Copley's English career was long and brilliant - and represents the most important period of his working life. During the forty-one years he spent in England, Copley created his great masterpieces of history painting and portraiture that stand as key monuments of British painting. From the earliest days of his career in London Copley realized that he would have to do everything possible to stand out in a crowded field of painters and create works that would bring him instant notice. This he did with his first great English picture, The Copley Family (1776-77) and, even more dramatically, with the landmark Watson and the Shark (1778). He quickly mastered the elements of the fashionable English style of painting, exchanging the tight and linear handling of the Colonial period for one more fluid and expressive. By the 1780s Copley was reckoned one of the most important painters working in England, a clear rival to his compatriot Benjamin West. With his masterpiece, The Death of Major Pierson (1784), Copley assumed a place of primacy in the field of history painting. While William L. Pressly gives a balanced, up-to-date exposition of Copley's English career, Emily Ballew Neff examines his masterpiece, The Death of Major Pierson, in particular detail, and is the author of the catalogue of his major English works. This is a long overdue study of this important painter.
Subject Terms:
Copley, John Singleton, 1738-1815 -- Exhibitions.
Copley, John Singleton, 1738-1815.
Pressly, William L., 1944-
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
National Gallery of Art (U.S.)