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Benjamin West

Paintings

Benjamin Franklin Drawing Electricity from the Sky Print by Benjamin West

Benjamin Franklin Drawing Electricity from the Sky

The Battle of La Hogue Print by Benjamin West

The Battle of La Hogue

The Death of General Wolfe Print by Studio of Benjamin West

The Death of General Wolfe

The Death of Nelson Print by Benjamin West

The Death of Nelson

The Apotheosis of Nelson Print by Benjamin West

The Apotheosis of Nelson

Cicero Discovering the Tomb of Archimedes Print by Benjamin West

Cicero Discovering the Tomb of Archimedes

Venus Consoling Cupid Stung by a Bee Print by Benjamin West

Venus Consoling Cupid Stung by a Bee

Cupid Releasing Two Doves Print by Benjamin West

Cupid Releasing Two Doves

Joshua passing the River Jordan with the Ark of the Covenant Print by Benjamin West

Joshua passing the River Jordan with the Ark of the Covenant

Queen Charlotte Print by Benjamin West

Queen Charlotte

Maria Hamilton Beckford, Mrs. William Beckford Print by Benjamin West

Maria Hamilton Beckford, Mrs. William Beckford

Elizabeth Shewell West and Her Son, Raphael Print by Benjamin West

Elizabeth Shewell West and Her Son, Raphael

Death on a Pale Horse Print by Benjamin West

Death on a Pale Horse

Alexander III of Scotland Rescued from the Fury of a Stag by the Intrepidity of Colin Fitzgerald Print by Benjamin West

Alexander III of Scotland Rescued from the Fury of a Stag by the Intrepidity of Colin Fitzgerald

Venus at her Birth attired by the three Graces Print by Benjamin West

Venus at her Birth attired by the three Graces

Woodcutters in Windsor Park Print by Benjamin West

Woodcutters in Windsor Park

Helen Brought to Paris Print by Benjamin West

Helen Brought to Paris

Cymon and Iphigenia Print by Benjamin West

Cymon and Iphigenia

Cymon and Iphigenia Print by Benjamin West

Cymon and Iphigenia

Isaac's Servant tying the Bracelet on Rebecca's Arm Print by Benjamin West

Isaac's Servant tying the Bracelet on Rebecca's Arm

George III Print by Benjamin West

George III

Elizabeth Countess of Effingham Print by Benjamin West

Elizabeth Countess of Effingham

Thetis bringing the Armor to Achilles Print by Benjamin West

Thetis bringing the Armor to Achilles

Paetus and Arria Print by Benjamin West

Paetus and Arria

The Cave of Despair Print by Benjamin West

The Cave of Despair

The Artist and His Son Raphael Print by Benjamin West

The Artist and His Son Raphael

The Death of Procris Print by Benjamin West

The Death of Procris

The Messiah Print by Benjamin West

The Messiah

The Woman clothed with the sun fleeth from the persecution of the Dragon Print by Benjamin West

The Woman clothed with the sun fleeth from the persecution of the Dragon

The remedy Print by Benjamin West Clinedinst

The remedy

The Death of Chatham Print by Benjamin West

The Death of Chatham

The Golden Age Print by Benjamin West

The Golden Age

The Pilgrim Mourning His Dead Ass Print by Benjamin West

The Pilgrim Mourning His Dead Ass

Cupid, Stung by a Bee, Is Cherished by his Mother Print by Benjamin West

Cupid, Stung by a Bee, Is Cherished by his Mother

The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise Print by Benjamin West

The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise

Destruction of the Beast and the False Prophet Print by Benjamin West

Destruction of the Beast and the False Prophet

Dr. Samuel Boude Print by Benjamin West

Dr. Samuel Boude

 Portrait of Colonel Guy Johnson Print by Benjamin West

Portrait of Colonel Guy Johnson

Omnia Vincit Amor or The Power of Love in the Three Elements Print by Benjamin West

Omnia Vincit Amor or The Power of Love in the Three Elements

Moses Shown the Promised Land Print by Benjamin West

Moses Shown the Promised Land

The Damsel and Orlando Print by Benjamin West

The Damsel and Orlando

Musidora and her two companions Sacharissa and Amoret at their Bath espied by Damon Print by Benjamin West

Musidora and her two companions Sacharissa and Amoret at their Bath espied by Damon

Benjamin West

Joshua passing the River Jordan with the Ark of the Covenant

Benjamin West

Alexander III of Scotland Rescued from the Fury of a Stag by the Intrepidity of Colin Fitzgerald ('The Death of the Stag')

Benjamin West

Agrippina Landing at Brundisium

Benjamin West

Kleombrotos sent into Exile by Leonidas II

Benjamin West

Penn's negotiations with the Indians

Benjamin West

Portrait of Colonel Guy Johnson

Benjamin West

Death of General Wolfe

Benjamin West

A Domestic Affliction

Benjamin West

Alexander the Great's confidence in his physician Philip of Acarnania.

Benjamin West

Alfred the Great dividing his Loaf with the Pilgrim

Benjamin West

Alfred the Third, King of Mercia, visiting William d'Albanac

Benjamin West

Allegory of Botany

Benjamin West

Angelica and Medoro

Benjamin West

Angels Announcing the Birth of Our Savior

Benjamin West

Omnia vincit amor

Benjamin West
Certificate of attendance at a course of lectures on anatomy

Benjamin West

Charles Wilson Peale

Benjamin West

Christ blessing Little Children

Benjamin West

Chryses invoking the Vengeance of Apollo against the Greeks

Benjamin West

Cornelia, Mother of the Gracchi, shewing her Children as her only Ornaments

Benjamin West

Cupid Stung by a Bee

Benjamin West

Death on a Pale Horse,

Benjamin West

Calypso's Reception of Telemachus and Me

Benjamin West

Fidelia and Speranza

Benjamin West

Simeon with the Infant Jesus

Benjamin West

Thetis Bringing the Armor to Achilles

Benjamin West

Edward III Crossing the Somme

Benjamin West

Francis Osborne, th Duke of Leeds

Benjamin West
General Thaddeus Kosciusko

Benjamin West

Genius Calling Forth the Fine Arts to Adorn Manufactures and Commerce

Benjamin West

Harvesting at Windsor

Benjamin West

His Majesty George III Resuming Power

Benjamin West
Jacob Blessing Ephraim and Manasseh

Benjamin West
General Johnson Saving a Wounded French Officer from the Tomahawk of a North American Indian

Benjamin West

Joseph Banks

Benjamin West

Juno Receiving the Cestus from Venus

Benjamin West

King Charles II landing on the Beach at Dover

Benjamin West

King Lear Act III scene 4

Benjamin West

Lady Beauchamp-Proctor

Benjamin West

The Battle of La Hogue

Benjamin West

Moses showing the Brazen Serpent

Benjamin West

Mr. John Williams

Benjamin West

Mr. Robert Grafton and Mrs. Mary Partridge Wells Grafton

Benjamin West

Mr. West and Family by Georg Siegmund Facius

Benjamin West

Mrs Thomas Keyes and Her Daughter

Benjamin West

Mrs. Benjamin West and Her Son Raphael

Benjamin West

Narcissus and Echo

Benjamin West

Oliver Cromwell dissolving the Long Parliament

Benjamin West

Portrait of a Lady

Benjamin West

Portrait of George, Prince of Wales, and Prince Frederick, later Duke of York

Benjamin West

Portrait of James Ward

Benjamin West

Portrait of Prince Octavius

Benjamin West

Portrait of the Drummond Family

Benjamin West

Prince John's Submission to Richard I

Benjamin West

Pylades and Orestes Brought as Victims to Iphigenia

Benjamin West

Pyrrhus when a Child, brought before Glaucias

Benjamin West

Queen Charlotte

Benjamin West

Queen Charlotte

Benjamin West

Self-Portrait

Benjamin West

Study for 'The Apotheosis of the Princes Octavius and Alfred' (Buckingham Palace)

Benjamin West

The Bard

Benjamin West

The Burghers of Calais

Benjamin West

The Cave of Despair

Benjamin West

The Death of Epaminondas

Benjamin West

The Death of General Wolfe

Benjamin West

The Death of the Chevalier Bayard

Benjamin West

The Drummond Brothers

Benjamin West

The Golden Age

Benjamin West

The Graces unveiling Nature

Benjamin West

The Infant St. John

Benjamin West

The Nativity

Benjamin West

The Treaty of Penn with the Indians

Benjamin West

The Woman Clothed with the Sun Fleeth from the Persecution of the Dragon

Benjamin West

The Women at the Sepulchre (The Angel at the Tomb of Christ)

Benjamin West

The Ascension

Benjamin West

Thetis bringing the Armor to Achilles,

Benjamin West

Two Officers and a Groom in a Landscape

Benjamin West

Two Angels Singing

Benjamin West

Venus and Europa

Benjamin West

Venus comforting Cupid stung by a bee

Benjamin West

Venus Lamenting the Death of Adonis

Benjamin West

Venus and Europa

Benjamin West

Christ Showing A Little Child As The Emblem Of Heaven

Benjamin West

Portrait Of Ann Barbara Hill Medlycott

Benjamin West

Portrait Of Raphael West And Benjamin West Jr

Benjamin West

The Death Of Nelson


Drawings

Maternity Print by Benjamin West

Maternity

Study of a Standing Female Nude Reaching Upwards Print by Benjamin West

Study of a Standing Female Nude Reaching Upwards

Benjamin West

The Herons oak in small Windsor Park

Portraits of Benjamin West by others

Benjamin West

Benjamin West by Gilbert Stuart

Benjamin West
Benjamin West by Gilbert Stuart

Benjamin West
Benjamin West by John Downma

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Benjamin West Art - Benjamin Franklin Drawing Electricity from the Sky by Benjamin West

Benjamin Franklin...

Benjamin West PRA (October 10, 1738 – March 11, 1820) was an Anglo-American painter of historical scenes around and after the time of the American War of Independence. He was the second president of the Royal Academy in London, serving from 1792 to 1805 and 1806 to 1820. He was offered a knighthood by the British Crown, but declined it, believing that he should instead be made a peer.[1]

Early life
West was born in Springfield, Pennsylvania, in a house that is now in the borough of Swarthmore on the campus of Swarthmore College,[2] as the tenth child of an innkeeper and his wife. The family later moved to Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, where his father was the proprietor of the Square Tavern, still standing in that town. West told the novelist John Galt, with whom, late in his life, he collaborated on a memoir, The Life and Studies of Benjamin West (1816, 1820) that, when he was a child, Native Americans showed him how to make paint by mixing some clay from the river bank with bear grease in a pot. Benjamin West was an autodidact; while excelling at the arts, "he had little [formal] education and, even when president of the Royal Academy, could scarcely spell".[3]

From 1746 to 1759, West worked in Pennsylvania, mostly painting portraits. While West was in Lancaster in 1756, his patron, a gunsmith named William Henry, encouraged him to paint a Death of Socrates based on an engraving in Charles Rollin's Ancient History. His resulting composition, which significantly differs from the source, has been called "the most ambitious and interesting painting produced in colonial America".[4] Dr William Smith, then the provost of the College of Philadelphia, saw the painting in Henry's house and decided to become West's patron, offering him education and, more importantly, connections with wealthy and politically connected Pennsylvanians. During this time West met John Wollaston, a famous painter who had immigrated from London. West learned Wollaston's techniques for painting the shimmer of silk and satin, and also adopted some of "his mannerisms, the most prominent of which was to give all his subjects large almond-shaped eyes, which clients thought very chic".[5]
Benjamin Franklin Drawing Electricity from the Sky c. 1816 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

West was a close friend of Benjamin Franklin, whose portrait he painted. Franklin was the godfather of West's second son, Benjamin.


Italy

In 1760, sponsored by Smith and William Allen, reputed to be the wealthiest man in Philadelphia, West traveled to Italy. He expanded his repertoire by copying the works of Italian painters such as Titian and Raphael. In Rome he met, and came under the influence of a number of international neo-classical artists including German-born Anton Raphael Mengs, Scottish Gavin Hamilton, and Austrian Angelica Kauffman.[6]

England

In August 1763, West arrived in England,[7] on what he initially intended as a visit on his way back to America.[7] In fact, he never returned to America. He stayed for a month at Bath with William Allen, who was also in the country, and visited his half-brother Thomas West at Reading at the urging of his father. In London he was introduced to Richard Wilson and his student Joshua Reynolds.[8] He moved into a house in Bedford Street, Covent Garden. The first picture he painted in England Angelica and Medora, along with a portrait of General Monckton,[9] and his Cymon and Iphigenia, painted in Rome, were shown at the exhibition in Spring Gardens in 1764.

In 1765 he married Elizabeth Shewell, an American to whom he became engaged in Philadelphia, at St Martin-in-the-Fields.[10]

Dr Markham, then Headmaster of Westminster School, introduced West to Samuel Johnson, Edmund Burke,[11] Thomas Newton, Bishop of Bristol, James Johnson, Bishop of Worcester, and Robert Hay Drummond, Archbishop of York. All three prelates commissioned work from him.[12] In 1766 West proposed a scheme to decorate St Paul's Cathedral with paintings. It was rejected by the Bishop of London, but his idea of painting an altarpiece for St Stephen Walbrook was accepted.[13] At around this time he also received acclaim for his classical subjects, such as Orestes and Pylades and The Continence of Scipio[13][14]

Benjamin West was known in England as the "American Raphael". His Raphaelesque painting of Archangel Michael Binding the Devil is in the collection of Trinity College, Cambridge.[15]


Royal patronage

Drummond tried to raise subscriptions to fund an annuity for West, so that he could give up portraiture and devote himself to entirely to more ambitious compositions. Having failed in this, he tried—with greater success—to convince King George III to patronise West.[16] The king's first commission was a painting of the departure of Regulus from Rome. West was soon on good terms with the king, and the two men conducted long discussions on the state of art in England, including the idea of the establishment of a Royal Academy.[17] The academy came into being in 1768, with West one of the primary leaders of an opposition group formed out of the existing Society of Artists of Great Britain. Joshua Reynolds was its first president.

In 1772, King George appointed him historical painter to the court[18] at an annual fee of £1,000.[10] He painted a series of eight large canvases showing scenes from the life of Edward III for St George's Hall at Windsor Castle,[19] and proposed a cycle of 36 works on the theme of "the progress of revealed religion" for a chapel at the castle, of which 28 were eventually executed.[10] He also painted nine portraits of members of the royal family,[10] including two of the king himself. He was Surveyor of the King's Pictures from 1791 until his death.

He painted his most famous, and possibly most influential painting, The Death of General Wolfe, in 1770, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1771. Although originally snubbed by Sir Joshua Reynolds, the famous portrait painter and President of the Royal Academy, and others as over ambitious, the painting became one of the most frequently reproduced images of the period. It returned to the French and Indian War setting of his General Johnson Saving a Wounded French Officer from the Tomahawk of a North American Indian of 1768.

West became known for his large scale history paintings, which use expressive figures, colours and compositional schemes to help the spectator to identify with the scene represented. West called this "epic representation". In 1806 he produced The Death of Nelson, to commemorate Horatio Nelson's death at the Battle of Trafalgar.


Later religious painting
The east window at St Paul's Church, Birmingham

St Paul's Church, in the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, has an important enamelled stained glass east window made in 1791 by Francis Eginton, modelled on an altarpiece painted c. 1786 by West, now in the Dallas Museum of Art.[20][21] It shows the Conversion of Paul. He was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1791.[22]

Following a loss of royal patronage at the beginning of the 19th century, West began a series of large-scale religious works. The first, Christ Healing the Sick was originally intended as a gift to a Quaker hospital in Philadelphia; instead he sold it to the British Institution for £3,000, which in turn presented it to the National Gallery.[10][23] West then made a copy to send to Philadelphia. The success of the picture led him to paint a series of even larger works, including his Death on a Pale Horse, exhibited in 1817.[10]
Royal Academy

West became president of the Royal Academy on the death of Reynolds in 1792. He resigned in 1805, to be replaced by his rival James Wyatt. However West was once again elected to the post the following year, and held it until his death.


Pupils

Many American artists studied under him in London, including Ralph Earl, Samuel Morse, Robert Fulton, Charles Willson Peale, Rembrandt Peale, Matthew Pratt, Gilbert Stuart, John Trumbull, Washington Allston, and Thomas Sully.[24]


Death

West died at his house in Newman Street, London, on March 11, 1820, and was buried in St Paul's Cathedral.[10]

Works
External video Benjamin west Death wolfe noble savage.jpg
Introducing Benjamin West, Royal Academy of Art[1]

John Sedley, view
Portrait of a Gentleman, view
Presentation of the Queen of Sheba at the Court of King Solomon, view
The Envoys Returning from the Promised Land, view

References

"Introducing Benjamin West". Royal Academy of Art. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
Benjamin West Explore Pennsylvania
Hughes, Robert (1997). American Visions: The Epic History of Art in America. Alfred A. Knopf. p. 70. ISBN 0-679-42627-2
Allen Staley, “Benjamin West,” in Benjamin West: American Painter at the English Court (Baltimore, 1989), 28. For more on this painting, see Scott Paul Gordon, “Martial Art: Benjamin West’s Death of Socrates, Colonial Politics, and the Puzzles of Patronage,” William and Mary Quarterly 65, 1 (2008): 65-100.
Hughes (1997), American Visions, p. 71
Lister, Raymond (1989). British Romantic Painting. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521356879.
Galt, volume 2 p.1
Galt, volume 2, p.2
BBC - Your Paintings - Lieutenant-General The Honourable Robert Monckton
Knight, Charles, ed. (1858). "West, Benjamin". The English Cyclopædia. Biography – Volume VI. London: Bradbury and Evans.
Galt, volume 2, pp.6–7
Galt, volume 2, p.9
Galt, p.15
Now in the collections of the Tate Gallery and the Fitzwilliam Museum respectively
"Trinity College, University of Cambridge". BBC Your Paintings.
Galt, volume 2, p.20
Galt, volume 2, pp.33–4
Birmingham Museum of Art (2010). Birmingham Museum of Art: Guide to the Collection. London, UK: GILES. p. 104. ISBN 978-1-904832-77-5. Retrieved July 19, 2011.
Black, Jeremy (2007). Culture in Eighteenth-Century England: A Subject for Taste. London: Continuum. p. 36. ISBN 9781852855345.
"Dallas Museum of Art, accession number 1990.232". Collections.dallasmuseumofart.org. Retrieved September 7, 2012.
"St Paul's website - Features of St Paul's Church". Saintpaulbrum.org. Retrieved September 7, 2012.
"Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter W". American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
This first version was transferred to the Tate Gallery where it was destroyed in a flood in 1928.

"The Joseph Downs Collection". Winterthur Library. Retrieved March 24, 2008.

Sources

John Galt: The life and studies of Benjamin West ... prior to his arrival in England; Publisher: Moses Thomas, Philadelphia (1816)
John Galt: The Life, Studies, and Works of Benjamin West, Esq., President of the Royal Academy of London Publisher: Printed for T. Cadell and W. Davies. (1820)
John Galt: The progress of genius : or authentic memoirs of the early life of Benjamin West. Abridged for the use of young persons. Publisher: Leonard C. Bowles. Boston (1832)
John Galt, The Life and Studies of Benjamin West, Esq. (1816).
Helmut von Erffa and Allen Staley, The Paintings of Benjamin West (New Haven, 1986).
Ann Uhry Abrams, The Valiant Hero: Benjamin West and Grand-Style History Painting (Washington, 1985).
James Thomas Flexner, “Benjamin West’s American Neo-Classicism,” New-York Historical Society Quarterly 36, 1 (1952), 5–41, rept. in America’s Old Masters (New York, 1967), 315–40.
Susan Rather. Benjamin West, John Galt, and the Biography of 1816. The Art Bulletin, Vol. 86, No. 2 (Jun. 2004), pp. 324–345
Sherman, Frederic Fairchild, American Painters of Yesterday and Today, 1919, Priv. print in New York. Chapter: Benjamin West:http://www.archive.org/stream/americanpainters00sheriala#page/62/mode/2up

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