A Revolution in Color: The World of John Singleton Copley
Through an intimate narrative of the life of painter John Singleton Copley, award-winning historian Jane Kamensky reveals the world of the American Revolution, rife with divided loyalties and tangled sympathies.
Famed today for his portraits of patriot leaders like Samuel Adams and Paul Revere, Copley is celebrated as one of America's founding artists. But, married to the daughter of a tea merchant and seeking artistic approval from abroad, he could not sever his own ties with Great Britain. Rather, ambition took him to London just as the war began. His view from abroad as rich and fascinating as his harrowing experiences of patriotism in Boston, Copley's refusal to choose sides cost him dearly. Yet to this day, his towering artistic legacy remains shared by America and Britain alike.
Earn by promoting books
Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.Become an affiliate
About the Author
With a singular focus on Copley and a more vibrant prose style, Kamensky probes deeply into such matters as family relations, local politics and the psychological costs of failing to realize one's ambitions.--Virginia DeJohn Anderson
Far from a born partisan, Copley could have gone either way. Kamensky's great accomplishment is to leave readers pulled by different audiences, demands, and political allegiances right along with him.--Caitlin Fitz
[I]ntelligent and substantive.--Wendy Smith
Kamensky wields a keen putty knife in a restoration that strives--rather than for objectivity--for acuity and honesty. Kamensky has that in spades.--Peter Lewis
Vivid, intimate, and richly detailed, Jane Kamensky's biography of John Singleton Copley illuminates the deeply intertwined worlds of America and England at the moment of their violent divorce. The career of the great painter from Boston provides a wonderfully fresh and surprising perspective on the American Revolution, on the scope of artistic ambition, and on the high costs of divided loyalty.--Stephen Greenblatt, author of The Swerve
The greatest American artist of the eighteenth century, John Singleton Copley, preferred life in Britain, escaping from the bitter civil war that we call the American Revolution. In this brilliantly insightful and lucidly written biography, Jane Kamensky reveals the age of revolution in fresh new tones as complex and compelling as the interplay of light and shade in the finest Copley painting.--Alan Taylor, author of American Revolutions
A memorable journey into the transatlantic world in the age of revolution through a close study of the greatest colonial American artist. Kamensky, a historian with an art historian's sensibility, provides a brilliant survey of John Singleton Copley's life, work, and subjects, vivified by a detailed examination of letters, diaries, and official records, many previously untapped, to involve the reader in the emotional and sensory experience of living in those tumultuous times.--Jules David Prown, Yale University