Skip to Content

West, Jr., Benjamin

American, 1772 - 1848

Biography
Son of American-born artist Benjamin West, one of the most prominent artists in late eighteenth century London. President of the Royal Academy from 1792 until his death, Benjamin West received many commissions from George III and other English patrons, and at the same time served as teacher and advisor to three generations of American artists in London. West worked primarily as a painter of historical and religious subjects, and as a portrait painter as patronage required. He is best known for his influential history painting, The Death of General Wolfe (1770; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa), exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1771. A milestone in English and American art, this was the first major depiction of a contemporary event with figures in modern clothing. Its subject matter was the heroic death of an English general in battle against the French in Canada. Two later paintings with American subjects were Penn's Treaty with the Indians (1771-1772; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia) and the unfinished Signing of the Preliminary Treaty of Peace in 1782 (1783-84; Henry Francis Du Pont Winterthur Museum, Winterthur, Delaware). (Miles 1995, 316-317)
Related Content

Limit to works on view

Limit to works with online images

Limit to works of classification:

Limit to works of artist nationalities:

Limit to works belonging to editions:

Limit to works created between:

Limit to works containing styles:

Limit to works containing photographic processes:

Find works executed in:


Find works containing subject terms:


Find works with an alternate reference number (for example, Key Set number) containing:


  • Filters:
  • View:
Show  results per page