1776/77. Oil on canvas. The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA. Read Note.
The Copley Family. Having moved to England, the Copleys posed for this huge group likeness, which was the artist’s first portrait to include more than two sitters. The thirty-seven-year-old painter holds sketches and looks out as though to introduce his family. While three daughters look on, Copley’s wife, Susanna, hugs their son. (In eighteenth-century custom, toddlers wore long dresses regardless of their gender.) The aged Richard Clarke, Copley’s father-in-law, was a Tory merchant whose investments had been thrown overboard at the Boston Tea Party