Joseph Dunkerley's works are often confused with those of John Singleton Copley
because of their delicacy, tiny size, and similar casework. The
British-born Dunkerley arrived in America around the time of Copley's
departure for England, and became one of the first important
miniaturists of the new republic. He had come to America during the
Revolutionary war with the British army, which he deserted to serve as
a lieutenant in the Massachusetts artillery regiment. He rose to the
position of adjutant in Henley's Continental regiment and left the army
in May 1778. In 1781, he rented a house from the patriot-silversmith
Paul Revere, who fashioned some of Dunkerley's casework. In December
1784, Dunkerley placed a notice in the Boston press advertising that he
"still carries on his Profession of Painting in Miniature at his home
in the North Square," implying that he had been active as a miniaturist
prior to that date. The following year, he also offered his services as
a drawing instructor.
Click on an image below for more information on Joseph Dunkerley's miniatures.