John Singleton Copley (July 3, 1738 - September 9, 1815) was an American artist of the colonial period, famous for his portraits of important figures in colonial New England. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, his portraits were innovative in that they tended to portray their subjects with artifacts that were indicative of their lives.
In 1774, Copley travelled to England to continue painting there. He began to specialize in historical narrative scenes which are sometimes dismissed by critics as lacking the vibrancy of his earlier portraits and joined the influential artistic institution, the Royal Academy of Art. Copley demonstrated a genius, in both his American and British periods, for rendering surface textures and capturing emotional immediacy. He died in London in 1815.