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Mrs. Alexander Cumming, née Elizabeth Goldthwaite, later Mrs. John Bacon

John Singleton Copley

American Art

On View: American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, From Colonies to States, 1660–1830
This portrait of a minister’s wife is one of a number of disarmingly direct and factual likenesses painted by John Singleton Copley about 1770. It reveals his growing passion for the accurate but artful description of light on forms and textures. Here, Mrs. Cumming emerges from a deeply shadowed space to face the raking light that illuminates her turned head and clothing. The modeling of her face is delicately gradual, moving from her richly lit features to the nuanced shadow that envelops her left side.
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
DATES 1770
DIMENSIONS 29 13/16 x 24 11/16 in. (75.7 x 62.7 cm) frame: 35 1/2 × 30 5/8 in. (90.2 × 77.8 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Signed lower right (initials in monogram): "J S C p. Bost 1770"
CREDIT LINE Gift of Walter H. Crittenden
RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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CAPTION John Singleton Copley (American, 1738-1815). Mrs. Alexander Cumming, née Elizabeth Goldthwaite, later Mrs. John Bacon, 1770. Oil on canvas, 29 13/16 x 24 11/16 in. (75.7 x 62.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Walter H. Crittenden, 22.84 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 22.84_PS9.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 22.84_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2020
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