1751/521811, Feb 26
an English portrait painter and pastelist, who moved to the United States in 1794. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1779. James Sharples established his career in America in 1794 by offering to make profiles of local and national politicians. He then used the original portraits to show as samples to new clients or to make copies of the originals. During this time, copies of portraits of famous people were popular, though the competition among artists was intense, and many had to travel in order to find customers. Sharples often used a physiognotrace, a mechanical drawing aid, to record an exact profile, which he kept for his personal collection. He would then copy these originals for resale.
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