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Benjamin West

Regency Portraits Catalogue

Benjamin West

by Charles Hutton Lear
circa 1845
6 3/4 in. x 5 5/8 in. (171 mm x 143 mm)
NPG 1456(26)

Inscriptionback to top

Inscribed in imitation of his signature: B. West; on verso is a slight unfinished sketch of a man and a woman, numbered in red +56-21.

This portraitback to top

C. H. Lear was born in 1818 and could not have drawn the PRA ad vivum. The drawing is clearly based on the head in Lawrence's 1821 whole-length in the Wadsworth Athenaeum of which there is a replica in the Tate Gallery engraved by C. Rolls 1842. It probably dates from 1845-6 when Lear was sending similar drawings of Royal Academicians home to his father (see Richard Ormond, National Portrait Gallery: Early Victorian Portraits, 1973, p 561). The engraving by Rolls would have been the most likely source.

Provenanceback to top

Given by John Elliot 1907, see Richard Ormond, National Portrait Gallery: Early Victorian Portraits, 1973, pp 561-2.


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.

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