This portrait and the match (No. 162) are originals by J.S. Copley, father of Lord Lyndhurst, the present chancellor of England. They were painted in 1765. "Associated as Copley's pictures chiefly are, with the Colonial or Revolutionary period of our history, there lingers around them the charm of a by-gone era, which endears even their palpable defects. The want of ease and nature in these time-hallowed portraits, is indeed as authentic as their costume. They are generally dignified, elaborate, and more or less ostentatious, but we recognize in these very traits the best evidence of their correctness. They illustrate the men and women of a day when pride, decorum, and an elegance ungraceful but rich, marked the dress and air of the higher classes. It appears to have been the favorite mode, either with the artist or his sitters, to introduce writing materials, and to select attitudes denoting a kind of meditative leisure. The hardness of the outlines and the semi-official aspect of the figure, correspond exactly with the spirit of those times. The patrician element still carried honorable sway in the new world, and ere its external signs were lost in republican sameness of bearing and costume, the pencil of Copley snatched them from oblivion, by a faithful transfer to canvas."--Tuckerman's Artist Life, p. 24. [P. 16; see entry 03230160 for companion piece.]
Price 12 1-2 cents. Albany Gallery of the Fine Arts, Incorporated 1846. Catalogue of the Third Exhibition. 1848. Albany: Printed by Charles Van Benthuysen. 1848.