National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise Benjamin West (painter)
American, 1738 - 1820
The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise, 1791
oil on canvas
overall: 186.8 x 278.1 cm (73 9/16 x 109 1/2 in.)
Avalon Fund and Patrons' Permanent Fund
Not on View
From the Tour: British and American History Paintings of the 1700s
Object 5 of 8


Painted for George III of England but never delivered;[1] ownership rights returned in 1828 by George IV to the artist's sons Raphael Lamar West [1766-1850] and Benjamin West, Jr. [1772-1848]; (sale, George Robins, London, 22-25 May 1829, 4th day, no. 154); bought by Smith, apparently for Raphael West;[2] (sale, George Robins, London, 16 July 1831, no. 40).[3] Private collection, Yorkshire, England;[4] (sale, Phillips, Son & Neale, London, 13 December 1988, no. 35);[4] (Thomas Agnew and Sons, London); purchased 27 February 1989 by NGA.

[1] The painting is listed in West's manuscript account for 1797 of works painted for George III, with the price of £525 (Historical Society of Pennsylvania), and in his 1801 account, printed as the first appendix to John Galt, The Life, Studios, and Works of Benjamin West, Esq., President of the Royal Academy, 2 vols. [reproduced, two vols. in one, as The Life of Benjamin West, Intro. by Nathalia Wright, Gainesville, Florida, 1960], London, 1820: 209, "The Account of Pictures painted by Benjamin West for His Majesty, by his Gracious Commands, from 1768 to 1780. A True Copy from Mr. West's Account Books, with their several Charges and Dates"; see Helmut Von Erffa and Allen Staley, The Paintings of Benjamin West, New Haven and London, 1986 286, and for a discussion of these accounts, 159-160, 579.

[2] George Robins, A Catalogue Raisonné of the Unequalled Collection of Historical Pictures, and Other Admired Compositions, the Works of the revered and highly-gifted Painter, the late Benjamin West, Esq., [22-25 May 1829], London, 1829: 46; Von Erffa and Staley 1986: 286.

[3] George Robins, A Catalogue of Nine Pictures, of the First Class; the genuine property of Mr. Raphael West, [16 July 1831], London, 1831: 7.

[4] According to the 1988 sale catalogue, the ancestor of this owner probably purchased the painting at the 1831 sale.

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