5 of 43 portraits of Benjamin West
by Gilbert Stuart
oil on canvas, 1785
35 1/2 in. x 27 1/2 in. (902 mm x 699 mm)
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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.
This portraitback to top
West attracted other visiting American artists like Gilbert Stuart who lodged with him as a pupil and assistant in 1775. In the background Stuart has shown West's vast Moses Receiving the Law (1784) unfinished on the easel.
Related worksback to top
Linked publicationsback to top
- Holmes, Richard; Crane, David; Woof, Robert; Hebron, Stephen, Romantics and Revolutionaries: Regency portraits from the National Portrait Gallery, 2002, p. 119
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 654
Events of 1785back to top
Current affairsGeorge Prince of Wales secretly marries his mistress Maria Fitzherbert in contravention of the Royal Marriages Act of 1772.
Prime Minister William Pitt introduces a bill proposing parliamentary reform and the abolition of 'rotten boroughs' but is defeated.
Art and scienceWilliam Cowper publishes his best -known poem The Task.
James Boswell publishes The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, narrating his travels with the late writer Samuel Johnson.
Physician and naturalist James Hutton presents his studies of local rocks to the Royal Society of Edinburgh, launching the era of scientific geology.
InternationalWarren Hastings resigns as Governor-General of Bengal and returns to England. His trial begins on charges of corruption in the administration of India.
French sculptor Jean Antoine Houdon crosses the Atlantic to sculpt a statue of George Washington.
British government establishes a permanent land force in the Eastern Caribbean, based in Barbados.