Revolutionary Era 1754-1783: Arts Research Article from American Eras

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Copley was born in 1738 to poor and uncultured parents who had emigrated from Ireland. Growing up in a house on Long Wharf in Boston, Copley was at one of the wealthiest centers of commercial trade in the colonies. After his father's death Copley's mother married Peter Pelham, a noted engraver who introduced Copley to the artistic culture of England and America. Copley's first paintings were mythological works such as The Return of Neptune, based on European prints that were consistent with Pelham's baroque tastes and English training. Pelham's more lasting influence was to teach Copley that the successful artist had to be an entrepreneur and, like the traders and artisans of Long Wharf, had to create a desire for his commodities amongst an expanding group of affluent, upwardly mobile merchant and professional class, for whom Copley painted more than 60 percent of his pictures. This small group dominated the social...

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This section contains 965 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Revolutionary Era 1754-1783: Arts Encyclopedia Article
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American Eras
Revolutionary Era 1754-1783: Arts from American Eras. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.