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John Singleton Copley : Mrs. Thomas Hancock (nee Lydia Henchman, 1714-1777)
John Singleton Copley (Mrs. Thomas Hancock (nee Lydia Henchman, 1714-1777) )

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Artist: John Singleton Copley
Title: Mrs. Thomas Hancock (nee Lydia Henchman, 1714-1777)
Year: c. 1766
Media: Pastel on paper, 24 x 18 1/2 inches
Description: This is part of a pair with Mr. Hancock (RS 5541)

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Hancock were prominent members of the merchant elite whose continued patronage kept the ambitious young artist in Boston at this time. According to Jules David Prown in his standard reference on the artist (cited above), Thomas Hancock, an uncle of John Hancock, the signer of the Declaration of Independence, was a very wealthy merchant and a moderate Tory who served on the Boston City Council. The Hancocks, who were Congregationalists, married in 1730; they had no children. Lydia Henchman Hancock survived her husband by thirteen years. Copley first portrayed Thomas Hancock in 1758, when he executed a pastel (private collection) and an oil on copper miniature (National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C. ). When Thomas Hancock died, an elaborate full-length portrait in oil was commissioned for Harvard College, based on the 1758 likeness. Copley finished the oil portrait in 1766, at which time he executed a second pastel and its mate, illustrated here, as well as an oil on copper miniature of Mrs. Hancock (National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.).

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Inventory: RS 5542
  
Category: •a:American•portrait•eighteenth century•
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