1 of 43 portraits of Benjamin West
- Extended catalogue entry
Regency Portraits Catalogue
by Angelica Kauffmann
16 1/2 in. x 12 1/2 in. (419 mm x 318 mm)
Inscriptionback to top
Inscribed at right above his shoulder in Angelica's writing: Mr West-/Drawn at Rome by/Angelica Kauffman/1763-.
A paper written by Percy Fitzgerald, formerly stuck to the back, is now in the NPG archive: By Angelica Kauffmann in Rome 1763. At this time, it is stated 'she drew everyone in Rome'. Mr West was of course Benjamin West later PRA - & who was in Rome in 1763 & greatly run after - this is fancy Ball dress. It is a fine drawing. PF.
This portraitback to top
West and Angelica Kauffmann met in Florence arriving in Rome in January 1763, Angelica being there to paint a portrait of Winckelmann. They exchanged portraits of each other, West aged 25 Angelica 21, West later claiming to have given her lessons 'in the principles of composition, the importance of outline and the proper combination and mixture of colors'. C. W. Peale believed that she wished to marry him (Robert C. Alberts, Benjamin West, 1978, p 48 and both portraits reproduced after p 78).
Physical descriptionback to top
Head and shoulders to left in Van Dyck costume.
Exhibitionsback to top
'Paintings by Angelica Kauffmann', Kenwood, 1955 (15); 'Eighteenth Century Italy and the Grand Tour', Norwich, 1958 (35); 'Il Settecento a Roma', Rome, 1959 (313); 'The Past We Share', Texas, 1967 (21); 'Angelica Kauffmann und ihre Zeitgenossen', Bregenz and Vienna, 1968-9 (76).
This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: Richard Walker, Regency Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, 1985, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.