Benjamin West's Most Famous Paintings
Benjamin West was a famous self-taught painter who traveled the world, earning valuable patronage, and then settled down in the British Empire. He was one of the founding members of the Royal Academy and served as its second president. His style was a hit during this time, and his work influenced both King George III and the Royal Academy.
Penn's Treaty with the Indians by Benjamin West
During the American Revolution, a tradition of Penn's Treaty with the Indians was passed down orally. According to some academic commentators, the tradition was created to idealize Pennsylvania's past, while others argue that the tradition combines memories of a variety of documented treaties.
Benjamin West was an artist born in Pennsylvania. He had the opportunity to learn about the Native Americans when he was a boy. His family was friends with William Penn, and his grandfather was reportedly present at the treaty. He painted four paintings of Native Americans. These include Penn's Treaty with the Indians, the Treaty Elm, and a portrait of his grandfather.
He was commissioned to paint the treaty by his son Thomas. He painted it in 1771 and it hangs in the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. According to Benjamin West, the treaty was held in Shackamaxon, a Delaware Indian town near Kensington, Pennsylvania.
Benjamin Franklin's Drawing Electricity from the Sky by Benjamin West
During a storm in Philadelphia in 1752, Benjamin Franklin decided it was time to prove that lightning is indeed an electrical charge. His experiment proved that it was a fact and also led to the invention of the lightning rod.
Benjamin West's painting of the same name is a reimagining of the same feat. The painting's title, Benjamin Franklin Drawing Electricity from the Sky, maybe a bit of a stretch. Franklin did indeed prove that lightning is an electrical charge with a kite, but did he actually discover electricity?
In any case, the painting is a fun and informative piece of history. It is also a testament to the skill of Benjamin West, who was a self-taught neoclassical painter. The painting is a study in the art of observation. The painting is on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
The Battle of La Hogue by Benjamin West
During the War of the Grand Alliance, the Battle of La Hogue took place in 1692. It was a crucial naval skirmish that ended the French invasion of England. The French ships were destroyed, but the Anglo-Dutch fleet wrested the glory.
The Battle of La Hogue was the subject of a surprisingly accurate painting by Benjamin West. It was a significant if small victory that ended the French invasion and prevented a major war with the Dutch.
The Battle of La Hogue isn't the only notable naval event to occur during the war. The ill-fated French flagship Soleil Royal was torn to pieces days earlier in the port of Cherbourg.
This event was the first of its kind to arouse the ire of a seasoned naval commander. In the end, the French decided to abandon their ill-fated fleet and turn their attention to a land-based strategy.
It's not surprising that Benjamin West was inspired to create his own version of the Battle of La Hogue.
The Death of Nelson by Benjamin West
During the Battle of Trafalgar, a British naval hero, Admiral Lord Nelson, was fatally wounded by a musket ball. Nelson's death was commemorated in several paintings and engravings, including Benjamin West's painting The Death of Nelson.
West's painting is a composition of Nelson's nautical achievements. Nelson is shown on the quarter deck of the ship 'Victory', his hat rests on the deck to the left of his legs. Three young sailors support Nelson. On the right, smoke from the battle rages.
Nelson wears a full uniform, including silk stockings and gold lace. His face is draped in a white sheet. He is supported by five other men, who appear to be cheering and shooting at the enemy.
The Death of Nelson by Benjamin West is one of the best-known British paintings. It was the first of two paintings that West painted with Nelson as the subject. The first, called Thetis Bringing the Armour to Achilles, is a tighter composition. West was pleased with the painting and commissioned a second similar painting. He also designed an official monument to Nelson.
Thetis Bringing the Armor to Achilles by Benjamin West
During the Trojan War, Achilles served with a coalition of Greek warriors. The Iliad is a poem that tells the story of this war. It's set in ancient Greece and is known for the story of Patroclus and Achilles. Among the most notable figures in the tale are Achilles's best friend Patroclus and Achilles' soul mate, Briseis.
Thetis Bringing the Armor to Achilles is a painting by American artist Benjamin West. It depicts a very important event in the story of the Trojans. Achilles and the Myrmidons are about to take their place in the fray. West also added a couple of Myrmidons at the left and right sides of the scene.
Thetis Bringing the Armor To Achilles is a rococo-style painting. It's one of six paintings of this ilk by Benjamin West. It is currently housed in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Fidelia and Speranza by Benjamin West
Among the many great paintings of the 18th century, Benjamin West's Fidelia and Speranza stands out. Although primarily a portrait, the painting also displays an impressive amount of style. The use of dark and light tones to accent the regale is exemplary.
The painting has found a home in the Putnam Collection at the Timken Museum in South Bend, Indiana. The aforementioned oxford tidbit is attributed to William Henry, a gunsmith, and entrepreneur from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, who enlisted West to create a painting on the death of Socrates.
Originally based on an engraving in Charles Rollins' Ancient History, the resulting work has been described as the most ambitious painting of its time in colonial America.
Although it was not a study in design or aesthetics, the picture nonetheless displays a level of sophistication that would put the likes of Pablo Picasso to shame. West's neoclassical style of painting is still admired in the United States. It also shaped the future of art in the country. Although the painting is a lost art in contemporary times, it remains one of the most evocative works of art in the United States.
Death on a Pale Horse by Benjamin West
Located in the Detroit Institute of Arts, Death on a Pale Horse by Benjamin West is a painting by the British-American painter. It features a scene from the New Testament Book of Revelation. It was created in the late 18th century.
The work is a representation of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, a biblical tale describing the end of the world. It depicts Death sitting on a pale horse, wearing a crown, and wielding a halo of lighting.
West originally created this drawing in 1783 for a commission by King George III. He wanted to include the painting in a religious cycle for a chapel at Windsor Castle. However, the commission was canceled and West pursued the painting independently. He referred to the original sketch as a guide. The painting was completed in 1817.
The painting is 25 feet wide and 15 feet high. There are winged demons, fallen horses, and bodies from battle. It is reminiscent of popular art forms like dioramas and panoramas.
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