About this artwork
In 2006 the Art Institute of Chicago was lucky enough to acquire John Singleton Copley’s pastel Henry Hill, the companion to Mrs. Henry Hill (Anna Barrett), which has been in the collection since 1959. Both pastels retain their original rococo-style frames; these may have been carved by the Boston craftsman John Welch. Welch created many of Copley’s rococo frames, the type the artist used most frequently for his American portraits. The frame on Mrs. Henry Hill was gilded, as this was generally appropriate for the rococo style; however, recent scholarship has revealed that a few Copley frames, like that of Henry Hill, were painted black. Thus, these portraits present two different ways that Copley’s frames might have been finished.
- John Singleton Copley
- Henry Hill
- United States
- Pastel on brown paper laid down on canvas, linen or board
- 61 × 45.7 cm (24 × 18 in.; 580 × 433 mm); 580 × 433 mm (sight)
- Roger and J. Peter McCormick Endowments; restricted gift of William C. Vance from the Vance Family Foundation; Maurice D. Galleher Endowment and General Acquisitions funds