The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

First Previous 1 OF 43 NextLast

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

Regency Portraits Catalogue

Benjamin West

by Angelica Kauffmann
16 1/2 in. x 12 1/2 in. (419 mm x 318 mm)
NPG 1649

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.

View all known portraits for Angelica Kauffmann

View all known portraits for Benjamin West


Pioneer Podcasts

Listen to a series of podcasts exploring the lives of pioneering women, past and present.

Explore the podcasts

Untitled, c.1973 (Alex Chilton) by William Eggleston © Eggleston Artistic Trust

Eggleston Playlist

William Eggleston was closely associated with the alternative music scene in Memphis. Revisit our 2016 exhibition and listen to a special playlist.

Listen to the playlist

Archive interviews

Links to audio and transcripts of interviews with artists, sitters and historic recordings.

Watch, listen and read