Chapter 1.

Chapter 2.

Chapter 3.

Chapter 4.

Chapter 5.

Chapter 6.

Chapter 7.

Chapter 8.

Chapter 9.

Chapter 10.

Chapter 11.


Benjamin West   (1738-1820)
The Development of the Art Market in England:
Money as Muse, 1730–1900
Thomas M Bayer  and John R Page

“Historical and religious painter and portraitist. Born Springfield, Pennsylvania, 10 October 1738; died London 10 March 1820. He learned the ‘mechanical part’ of art in Pennsylvania, but his early American works are depressing, and he left America for Italy in 1760, never to return. He travelled in Italy in 1760-63, and received a good deal of guidance from Mengs and Gavin Hamilton; he learned to paint history pictures in the style of Gavin Hamilton, but with figures ‘Poussin size’. In 1763 he decided to settle in London as a portrait painter, but his exhibits at SA 1764-68 were mainly historical works, which were well received and, about 1768, he became George III’s favourite painter – a position of great profit, which he never lost, although the King eventually saw through him. A Foundation RA he exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1769 to 1819, and succeeded Reynolds as President in 1792. Exhibited at the BI from 1806 to 1820. His ‘Death of Wolfe’, RA 1781 (Ottawa) marks something of an epoch as the painting of a contemporary historical scene in something approaching contemporary dress, but his more usual historical style are neo-classical or romantic. He was also a prolific portrait painter, painted some landscapes and designed stained glass. His huge religious pictures, intended for a chapel at Windsor Castle, are now at Bob Jones University, Greenville, South Carolina, and show the virtues and defects of his limited mind.”


(Bibliographical source: Waterhouse, Ellis Kirkham. The dictionary of British 18th century painters in oils and crayons. Woodbridge: Antique Collectors' Club, 1981.) 

Website Designer: Jessie Lingenfelter
The Death of Nelson, 1806
Oil on Canvas
71 5/6 x 99 ½ in.
Walker Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool
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Death on a Pale Horse