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Nathaniel Sparhawk

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This painting is Copley’s first attempt at a life-size, full-length portrait, a format that indicated both grandeur and expense. The idea came from two principal sources: the full-length likenesses of the English monarchs that were on display at the Town-House, the seat of colonial government...

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Center right, on architectural plans: John.S.Copley./pinx 1764


1764, the sitter, Nathaniel Sparhawk (1715-1776), Kittery, Maine; by 1873, descended in the family to the great-nephew of the sitter, D. H. Sparhawk. 1880, Samuel B. Rindge (1820-1883), Cambridge; by descent to Frederick H. Rindge (1857-1905), Cambridge and Los Angeles, Calif.; 1905, by descent to his wife, May K. Rindge (1864-1941). 1983, sold by heirs of Frederick H. Rindge and May K. Rindge to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 7, 1983)

Credit Line

Charles H. Bayley Picture and Painting Fund



231.14 x 149.86 cm (91 x 59 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Oil on canvas