Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Copley’s Portrait Of Paul Revere


This is Portrait of Paul Revere by John Singleton Copley from 1768.

Paul Revere lived 1734-1818.

Here is how this painting is described in the book American Art and Architecture by Michael J. Lewis—

Here was a new kind of painting. Instead of aristocratic subjects in settings of leisure, Copley portrayed merchants and artisans who were not ashamed of their status or their manual labor—Aristocrats of commerce. Revere holds one of his silver teapots in one hand as he prepares to incise it with decoration while the other holds his head, as if to suggest that he earns his livelihood by both his hands and his head.”  

Here is information on Paul Revere.

Despite this painting, Copley was no friend of the American Revolution. He left America in 1774 and settled in London.

Click here for some information on Copley. Take a look at his self-portrait—Just seeing it will clue you in on his feelings about the revolution.   

Please click here for other Texas Liberal posts on Colonial America.

February 25, 2008 - Posted by | Art, Books, Colonial America, History | , , , , , ,


  1. Revere could be one of Jack Black’s ancestors?

    Comment by geo | February 25, 2008

  2. Good point.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | February 25, 2008

  3. There are lots of Paul Revere peices the Museum of Fine arts here in Boston. It’s some pretty amazing stuff.

    Comment by jos76 | February 26, 2008

  4. I’d like to see that someday…Maybe I’ll take a trip to Boston this summer. I could see my family in Providence.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | February 26, 2008

  5. Gee, I didn’t know there was such a thing as a ‘Texas Liberal’. I thought all Texan’s want to secede from the United States. It’s refreshing to know that that is not true.

    This picture of Paul Revere is just so beautiful.

    Comment by Karen Warner | September 15, 2009

  6. No–We are here. Something like 44% of the people in Texas voted for Mr. Obama last year. Thanks for the comment and please visit the blog again.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | September 15, 2009

  7. Although Copley painted portraits of many individuals who were primary players in the Revolutionary War, (Not only Revere, but John Handcock, Samuel Adams, as well as General Thomas Gage, Margaret Gage, etc.) why he left the colonies probably had little to do with a disgust for the brewing revolution as you imply. From my reading, he most likely went to London, then quickly to France to further his art education and career. Primarily being self taught and without any peers to speak of in the colonies, it makes sense that he would go to where the best art in the world was being made at the time.

    Comment by Kirk Wheeler | August 19, 2011

  8. This portrait embodies the pride and spirit of the people who became Americans, no longer subjects. It stands out from the others in this section of the MOFA. I can never get enough, I spend more time with this work of art than any other here, Copley really captured the soul of the man.

    Comment by kathleen | February 2, 2013

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