Art from 1700-1800: England and American in the Age of the Revolution

Britain and America in the Age of Revolutions (Reynolds, Copley, Peale) It was hard to be an artist in America during the colonial period, and for decades after too. There were no real art schools, no grand tradition of art, and no wealthy aristocratic patrons to commission heroic subjects. As you’ll learn in this tutorial, Copley was the greatest American portrait painter of the period, and Peale, who studied with Copley, painted portraits of American heroes such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, and founded what became the first real American art museum. American artists looked to England for support and inspiration, often to the older Sir Joshua Reynolds, who was the painter to the King, and first President of the Royal Academy in London.