Benjamin West(1738-1820), History painter and President of the Royal Academy
Sitter associated with 43 portraits
Artist associated with 39 portraits
The American artist Benjamin West settled in London in 1763 where he became successful as a portraitist and history painter. His painting of The Death of General Wolfe (1770-71), was particularly innovative in its use of classical conventions of history painting to portray a modern event. West succeeded Sir Joshua Reynolds as President of the Royal Academy from 1792 to 1820.
Watch a film clip on the artist from the BBC Archive in the Media section below
by James Gillray, published by Hannah Humphrey
hand-coloured etching, published 2 November 1797