Style Imitating Art-Paul Revere by John Singleton Copley

Welcome to SIA #4! Also, Happy President’s Day to all of us celebrating. This is the day that we usually celebrate two of the greatest; George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. For me, I also put Franklin D Roosevelt in this club.

About Style Imitating Art

Style Imitating Art is hosted by Salazar of 14 Shades of Grey, Daenel of Living Outside the Stacks and me. Style Imitating Art challenges us to draw style inspiration from pieces of art. Every other Monday one of us selects an inspiration image and we each post the image on our blogs. The following Monday we share our art-inspired outfits. The following Wednesday, the curator shares all of the submissions on her blog.

This Week’s Presenter

That would be me.

This Week’s Inspirational Image

Well, to get on to my choice for this round. I picked Copley’s portrait of Paul Revere. I did have this originally picked out for a later date but when I figured out that my turn to curate would fall on President’s Day, I immediately moved it up.

Why a portrait of Paul Revere, with its stark and simple colors and composition? I have just always loved this portrait. It’s very different than any other portrait that Copley, who was the leading portrait artist at the time produced. Rather than the decked out John Hancock or Samuel Adams, Paul Revere is portrayed at what he did best, being a premier silversmith; a working man who was at the top of his trade. As another crafts-person, I could relate.

The simple beauty of the impeccable white shirt against the dark waist coat and background is striking and I’m a sucker for a gorgeous white shirt. Revere’s contemplating look as he’s holding one of his silver creations fascinates me. Is he happy with it? Is it finished? Who was it made for?

John Singleton Copley painted Paul Revere a few years before the Revolutionary war, which was when he painted all his colonial portraits. Born in Boston on July 3rd (also my birthday) in 1738, Copley’s professional life can be divided into two parts; his American portraits and his historical canvasses which he pursued after he moved to the continent and eventually settling in London. Copley never returned to the United States and died on September 9, 1815 in London.

Paul Revere Portrait’s Rocky Road

Although Paul Revere’s ride is know by every school child now, he really wasn’t on the early political scene like John Adams and others. His immediate family hated that he was just shown in his “work sleeves” as you could say and they relegated the painting to the attic for decades.

However, when Henry Wordsworth Longfellow published his poem, Paul Revere’s Ride in 1861, Revere’s decedents started having second thoughts. The family restored the portrait and eventually is was bequeathed to Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts in 1930. It is now one of their most treasured and loved paintings.

Will You Join In the Fun?

I hope this art inspires you to create a look and that you will join us. Send me your picture of your SIA inspired outfit along with a small blurb on how you were inspired to by February 23rd. I’ll share the submissions on my blog on Wednesday February 24th.

Anyone can participate and you certainly do not have to have a blog.

If you do share your inspirations on Instagram use the hashtag #StyleImitatingArt so we know you are there. You can also tag us in the images. Our Instagram names are: terrigardner_meadowtree, daenelt and 14shadesofgrey.

Take care and create on!

7 thoughts on “Style Imitating Art-Paul Revere by John Singleton Copley

  1. Terri, I love the story behind this painting! And I really love the reasons that you chose it for this SIA prompt. I really enjoy the neutral colors in this painting and was wondering myself what Mr. Revere was contemplating in this image. I have to comment about the part where you said every school child is familiar with Paul Revere’s ride…I don’t remember when I learned about Paul Revere, but I am almost certain it was before or around grade 4. I pulled out an old Mad Libs book from 1980 to do with my kids and there was one about Paul Revere’s famous ride. My 4th grader literally had no idea what I was talking about as I tried to explain it to him! Maybe they learn it after 4th grade? Or maybe it isn’t even taught anymore, could that be possible? Anyway, I just photographed my Paul Revere outfit today and will be sending it to you now!



    1. Here in Missouri, our 4th graders study Missouri history. So I have no idea how he is mentioned in elementary. Thank you for the positive comments about my pick. Because I was worried how this one would be recieved-it is so simple in design. Can’t wait to see what you’ve done. I will go check out my email.


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