User Menu

MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

John Hancock

Start collecting

John Hancock (1737–1793) was at the threshold of his social, economic, and political destiny when Copley painted him in 1765. His origins had been poor and thus disenabling in the rigidly class-stratified society of mid-eighteenth-century Massachusetts. His father, the Reverend John Hancock,...

Show Full Description


Lower left: J.S. Copley./pinx 1765; dated on ledger: 1765


1765, the sitter, John Hancock (1737-1793); 1793, by inheritance to his widow, Dorothy Quincy Hancock (1747-1830); 1830, probably purchased by the Mayor of Boston, Harrison Gray Otis, from the estate of Dorothy Quincy; 1830, gift of Harrison Gray Otis, to the City of Boston [the portrait was hung in Fanueil Hall]; 1876, deposited by the City of Boston to the MFA.

Credit Line

Deposited by the City of Boston



124.8 x 100 cm (49 1/8 x 39 3/8 in.)

Accession Number

L-R 30.76d

Medium or Technique

Oil on canvas