Seneca's Epistles Volume I Source: Translated by Richard M. The Loeb Classical Library.
Early life[ edit ] Copley's mother owned a tobacco shop on Long Wharf. Letters from John Singleton, Mrs. Copley's father, are in the Copley-Pelham collection.
Richard Copley, described as a tobacconist, is said by several biographers to have arrived in Boston in ill health and to have gone, about the time of John's birth, to the West Indieswhere he died.
Whitmore gives his death as of the year of Mrs. James Bernard Cullen says: He died there in Portrait of the Copley family Except for a family tradition that speaks of his precocity in drawing, nothing is known of Copley's schooling or of the other activities of his boyhood.
His letters, the earliest of which is dated September 30,reveal a fairly well-educated man.
He may have been taught various subjects, it is reasonably conjectured, by his future stepfather, who, besides painting portraits and cutting engravings, eked out a living in Boston by teaching dancing and, beginning September 12,by conducting an "Evening Writing and Arithmetic School", How friendship has enriched your life advertised.
It is certain that the widow Copley was married to Peter Pelham on May 22,and that at about that time she transferred her tobacco business to his house in Lindall Street a quieter, more respectable part of townat which the evening school also continued its sessions.
In such a household young Copley may have learned to use the paintbrush and the engraver's tools.
His son, Lord Lyndhurstwrote that "he Copley was entirely self taught, and never saw a decent picture, with the exception of his own, until he was nearly thirty years of age.
They suggest that, while Copley was industrious and an able executant, he was physically unadventurous and temperamentally inclined toward brooding and self-pity. He could have seen at least a few good paintings and many good prints in the Boston of his youth.
The excellence of his own portraits was not accidental or miraculous; it had an academic foundation. A book of Copley's studies of the figure, now at the British Museumproves that before he was twenty, whether with or without help from a teacher, he was making anatomical drawings with much care and precision.
It is likely that through the fortunate associations of a home and workshop in a town which had many craftsmen, he had already learned his trade at an age when the average art student of a later era was only beginning to draw. It is a remarkable work to have come from so young a hand.
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The artist was only fifteen when it is believed he painted the portrait of the Rev. William Welsteed, minister of the Brick Church in Long Lane, a work which, following Peter Pelham's practise, Copley personally engraved to get the benefit from the sale of prints.
No other engraving has been attributed to Copley.
A self-portrait, undated, depicting a boy of about seventeen in broken straw hat, and a painting of Mars, Venus and Vulcan, signed and dateddisclose crudities of execution which do not obscure the decorative intent and documentary value of the works. Such painting would obviously advertise itself anywhere.
Without going after business, for his letters do not indicate that he was ever aggressive or pushy, Copley was started as a professional portrait-painter long before he was of age. In OctoberCapt.
Thomas Ainslie, collector of the Port of Quebecacknowledged from Halifax the receipt of his portrait, which "gives me great Satisfaction",  and advised the artist to visit Nova Scotia "where there are several people who would be glad to employ You.
Besides painting portraits in oil, doubtless after a formula learned from Peter Pelham, Copley was a pioneer American pastellist. By this time he had begun to demonstrate his genius for rendering surface textures and capturing emotional immediacy. This picture, which made the young Boston painter a Fellow of the Society of Artists of Great Britain, by vote of September 3,had been painted the preceding year.
Copley's letter of September 3,to Capt. Bruce, of the John and Sukey, reveals that it was taken to England as a personal favor in the luggage of Roger Hale, surveyor of the port of London. An anecdote relates that the painting, unaccompanied by name or letter of instructions, was delivered to Benjamin West whom Mrs.Congratulations!
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