What Was Boy With a Flying Squirrel About?
What Was Boy with a Flying Squirrel About? This article will provide a brief overview of Copley’s work and highlight some of its technical qualities, including His ability to portray a range of textures and compositional ingenuity. It also focuses on the boy’s facial features and the squirrel’s fur. The artist’s use of color, texture, and compositional ingenuity are also noteworthy.
Transatlantic natural history circuits
A painting of a squirrel in flight is a striking example of transatlantic exchange. Boy with a Flying Squirrel taps into a variety of familiar discourses about Atlantic exchange and tapping into a transatlantic natural history circuit. Its profile format and empiricist theories about sensory conveyance suggest Copley’s intent to work across the Atlantic and in a global community.
Copley’s technical talent
Although born poor, Henry Copley soon found himself with a flourishing trade. When he was a child, he was attacked by a shark in Havana harbour, and the young man recovered from the attack to become a highly successful businessman. This led to the commission of Copley’s painting Watson and the Shark. The image gained such popularity that the engravings are still in use today.
In this early masterpiece, Copley drew from familiar discourses of Atlantic exchange. In a profile format, he evoked numismatic exchange strategies, while his flying squirrel tapped into well-established transatlantic natural history circuits. The artist’s spatial transformations mirrored both empiricist theories about sensory conveyance and the workday dynamics of shipping.
His ability to depict a variety of textures
Copley’s A Boy with a Flying Squirrel displays an impressive range of textures. The boy’s skin is covered in soft fur, while a polished table and glass of water show reflections. The textures that Copley uses in this painting make it a highly sophisticated work. It’s not surprising, then, that this work is so popular.
Despite Copley’s early struggles, the artist grew as an artist. One of his earliest masterpieces, a portrait of Henry Pelham, is a tangible demonstration of his talent. Copley intended to hang it on the wall of his London exhibition space. Although Copley had no formal training, he did gain experience under Reynolds and his mentor, Sir Joshua Reynolds.
His compositional inventiveness
The portrait was sent to the Society of Artists exhibition in London in 1766, where Copley received positive feedback from Sir Joshua Reynolds and Benjamin West, two authoritative voices in British art at the time. In his letter, Copley explained that the painting was a wonderful performance, and that he was very pleased with it. However, his compositional inventiveness had limitations that likely have to do with his location and the lack of formal artistic instruction.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.