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Benjamin West

1 of 43 portraits of Benjamin West

Benjamin West, by Angelica Kauffmann, 1763 - NPG 1649 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Benjamin West

by Angelica Kauffmann
black chalk on greenish grey paper, 1763
16 1/2 in. x 12 1/2 in. (419 mm x 318 mm)
Given by Percy Fitzgerald, 1912
Primary Collection
NPG 1649


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Sitterback to top

  • Benjamin West (1738-1820), History painter and President of the Royal Academy. Sitter associated with 43 portraits, Artist associated with 39 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • Angelica Kauffmann (1741-1807), Painter. Artist associated with 21 portraits, Sitter in 7 portraits.

This portraitback to top

The American artist, Benjamin West, settled in London in 1766 and became one of George III's favourite painters. He excelled at history painting and is best remembered for his large historical group, The Death of General Wolfe (1770). While in Rome in 1762 West was introduced to the young Swiss painter Angelica Kauffmann, and this drawing may have been done in preparation for her oil portrait of him which is now in the Uffizi, Florence. She has pictured him in Van Dyck dress, a fashionable convention favoured by Pompeo Batoni and Anton Raphael Mengs, West's mentor. The inscription on the drawing may be a later addition.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Rogers, Malcolm, Master Drawings from the National Portrait Gallery, 1993 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 5 August to 23 October 1994), p. 49
  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 654
  • Walker, Richard, Regency Portraits, 1985, p. 543

Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top

Subject/Themeback to top