Under the supervision of his mentor Allston, who was 12 years his senior, Morse now became a member of the prestigious Royal Academy, an arts institution in London. It was during this period that Morse painted what has been described as his most accomplished work, a study of Hercules in the throes of death.
In 1815 Morse returned to America and continued with his painting from a studio in Boston. In 1818 he married Lucretia Walker, whose tragic death at the age of just 25 we heard of earlier and which we’ll return to shortly. The couple’s seven years of marriage produced three children. The oldest, Susan, was five when her mother died, the youngest, James, just three weeks.