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The Cover
February 24, 2010

Mr and Mrs Ralph Izard (Alice Delancey)

JAMA. 2010;303(8):697. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1

Much has been written, said, and opined about Boston-born painter John Singleton Copley (1738-1815). Copley was essentially self-taught; a precocious boy with talent, he began painting portraits before he was 15 years old. Soon, prominent Bostonians clamored for the Copley brush, and amidst his professional success, Copley married Susanna Clarke, the daughter of a tea importer. Colonists, chafing under the restrictive taxation policies of King George and his parliament, stirred the pot of rebellion: nowhere was this more evident than in Copley's hometown. His father-in-law's sympathies were with the Loyalist cause, if for no other reasons than economics, yet those family ties did not prevent Copley from painting Whigs and known revolutionaries, including Paul Revere (JAMA cover, July 3, 1996). Copley was even conscripted to act as intermediary between the soon-to-be-warring parties, yet his efforts were in vain; the infamous Boston Tea Party and the subsequent American Revolution soon ensued.

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