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A Revolution in Color: The World of John Singleton Copley

Jane Kamensky

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Norton
03 October 2017
History of art & design styles: c 1600 to c 1800; Painting & paintings; Individual artists, art monographs; History
In this intimate portrait of the painter John Singleton Copley and his extraordinary times, award-winning Harvard historian Jane Kamensky gives "a wonderfully fresh and surprising perspective on the American Revolution" (Stephen Greenblatt), a world riven by divided loyalties and tangled sympathies.

Though Copley's prodigious talent earned him the patronage of Boston's patriot leaders, including Samuel Adams and Paul Revere, he did not share their politics and lamented America's provincialism. When painting portraits failed to satisfy his lofty ambitions and colonial resistance escalated, Copley looked longingly across the Atlantic, repatriating to London where he gained renown as the painter of Britain's American War.

With a "vibrant prose style, Kamensky probes deeply" (New York Times), bringing new insight to this tumultuous period as seen through a towering figure of both Britain's and America’s artistic legacies. 8 pages of color; 50 illustrations.
By:   Jane Kamensky
Imprint:   Norton
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 211mm,  Width: 142mm,  Spine: 36mm
Weight:   436g
ISBN:   9780393354867
ISBN 10:   0393354865
Pages:   544
Publication Date:   03 October 2017
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Jane Kamensky is a professor of history at Harvard University and the faculty director of the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Her many books include The Exchange Artist, a finalist for the George Washington Book Prize.

Reviews for A Revolution in Color: The World of John Singleton Copley

Copley was in London when resistance escalated into war. This profile brings his world alive, exploring the difficult relationships between liberty and slavery, family duty and personal ambition. -- What We're Reading - The Independent ... very readable account of the life and times of John Singleton Copley. -- The Art Newspaper ... lively and insightful book... Kamensky has produced an exemplary historical biography... A Revolution in Color is a thumping good read and makes a significant contribution to our appreciation of the often misunderstood and underappreciated Copley. -- Loyd Grossman - The Burlington Magazine Jane Kamensky has not only crafted a stunning biography but also a truly singular account of The American Revolution. A Revolution in Color masterfully unravels any easy distinctions between patriots and loyalists. -- Amanda Foreman ...intriguing... richly layered biography... -- Times Literary Supplement Jane Kamensky's brilliant new biography... a spirited and at times heartbreaking narrative of [Copley's] life and the tumultuous world he inhabited. -- Literary Review ... I commend Kamensky's skill as a writer. Even if you had little interest in such a man as Copley, this is a deeply enjoyable book. -- David Aaronovitch, Book of the Week - The Times


  • Short-listed for George Washington Book Prize 2017
  • Winner of Massachusetts Book Award 2017

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