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John Singleton Copely, Abigail Bromfield Rogers (Mrs. Daniel Denison Rogers) (1753-1791) (c.1784)

For Artwork in Focus we explore individual artworks, critiquing their style and discussing their socio-political context. Today we look at Abigail Bromfield Rogers (Mrs. Daniel Denison Rogers) (1753-1791), (c.1784) by John Singleton Copely.

About the Work

Title : Abigail Bromfield Rogers (Mrs. Daniel Denison Rogers) (1753-1791)
Artist : John Singleton Copely
Year : c.1784
Medium : Oil on canvas
Dimensions : 127 x 101.6 cm (50 x 40 in.)
Location : Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The Portrait Sitter : Mrs. Daniel Denison Rogers

According to the records of the Harvard Art Museum, the lady in the portrait is Copely’s step niece Abigail. Abigail was born and raised in America, in Massachusetts. However, after her marriage, she relocated to Europe along with her hsuband and family. The Rogers later visit Copely back in England and this portrait was made at Windsor castle.

The portrait paints Mrs. Rogers as a lady of pride and elegance. Painted against a sunset, Mrs. Rogers dons a large feathered hat and a white windswept gown. According to the Museum :

“With its striking, windswept sitter; dramatic background of whites, blues, yellows, and reds; and vigorous brushwork and ridges of impasto, the portrait shows how fully Copley embraced the ideals of high-style British portraiture.”

Other Details

John Singleton Copely’s Abigail Bromfield Rogers (Mrs. Daniel Denison Rogers) (1753-1791) is housed in the Harvard Art Museums in Room 2220, European and American Art, 17th–19th century. It is part of the museum’s collection of the Rococo and Neoclassicism in the Eighteenth Century.

To learn more about iconic artworks and their socio-political context, visit Artwork in Focus.

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