John Singleton Copley started out painting portraits of wealthy people in colonial New England. Some of the people he painted in Boston became key figures in the American Revolution. Copley was a loyalist supporter of the British. He moved to London at the beginning of the Revolutionary War. He remained in London and had a successful career painting portraits of wealthy patrons and historical scenes.
John Singleton Copley (July 3, 1738 – September 9, 1815) was an Anglo-American painter, active in both colonial America and England. He was probably born in Boston, Province of Massachusetts Bay, to Richard and Mary Singleton Copley, both Anglo-Irish. After becoming well-established as a portrait painter of the wealthy in colonial New England, he moved to London in 1774, never returning to America. In London, he met considerable success as a portraitist for the next two decades, and also painted a number of large history paintings, which were innovative in their readiness to depict modern subjects and modern dress. His later years were less successful, and he died heavily in debt. He was father of John Copley, 1st Baron Lyndhurst.