Benjamin West, his times and his influence Essay Free Essay

Benjamin West pictures


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Benjamin West was an Anglo-American creative person who was born on October 10. 1738 in Springfield Pennsylvania in the present twenty-four hours campus of Swarthmore College in a house now called the borough of Swarthmore. He was the 10th kid of John West and Sarah Pearson. Benjamin died on March 11. 1820 in London at the age of 81. During his clip. he concentrated in graphics. He left a great grade through his historical graphics. The graphics by Benjamin West made during the yearss of geographic expedition and during the American battle for independency helps us greatly in understanding the history of the Americans. In his graphics. West used an artistic manner he termed as “epic representation” . which entailed the usage of expressive figures. compositional strategies and colourss to do it easy for the perceiver to place the scene easy. Benjamin West did his first picture in 1745 when he was merely 7 old ages old. He was left to look after his sister’s baby girl while the sister and female parent were working on the flower garden. He was impressed by the smiling babe and took a paper and a pen which were on the tabular array and made the first picture work. When the female parent and sister came back. they saw the picture and were really much impressed for it truly resembled the immature child. Benjamin’s female parent appreciated him and this developed assurance in him even though he had ab initio tried to conceal the paper from his female parent. He subsequently interacted with the Native Americans who taught him how to do pigment from riverbank clay assorted with bear lubricating oil in a pot. Little was it expected that this would turn out to be his line of professional his life. He best fitted in this country chiefly because he was non good endorsed with formal instruction ( West and Charles 1950 ) . Benjamin West excelled in picture and hive awaying the American and English history such that analyzing the American or English literature may non be really possible without adverting or mentioning to the work of Benjamin West. His graphics remains a really important beginning of American literature for he was able to hive away history at a clip when agencies of history maintaining were non so good established. He stored the life of the Americans before America attained self-governance in his pictures.

Benjamin west painted portrayals in Pennsylvania from 1746 to 1759 where he designed the ‘death of Socrates’ from an engraving in Charles Rollin’s ancient work. This work latter came to be credited as “the most ambitious and interesting picture produced in colonial America” . Because of his great graphicss. West interacted with many great people such as Dr. William Smith who was the provost. college of Philadelphia and Benjamin Franklin. who was an outstanding American solon who played a great function in America’s battle for self-governance. It is from this close interaction that Benjamin West painted Benjamin Franklin’s portrayal.

In his interactions. West met several painters from whom he learnt more painting techniques. Hemet John Wollaston. a painter from London from whom he learnt how to paint the play of silk and satin. He besides learnt from him the manner of seting large Prunus dulcis shaped eyes to all his graphics. Subsequently on. West was sponsored and travelled to Italy where he furthered his picture accomplishments by copying Italian pictures ( Helmut and Allen 1986 )

On his manner back to America. West decided to pay a visit to England. though ; his visit turned to a stay when he met William Allen who had sponsored him to Italy. They stayed together for a month. and latter visited his half-brother Thomas West. In England. he continued with his pictures. He painted his first image in England. Angelica and Medora. and was shown at the exhibition in spring gardens in 1764 together with Cymon and Iphigia. which he had painted in Rome. Benjamin West married an American. Elizabeth Shewell. in 1765 at St Martin-in-the-Fields. While in England. he was introduced to senior reverends such as Thomas Newton who was the bishop of Bristol. James Johnson. who was the bishop of Worcester. Robert Hay Drummond who was the Archbishop of York. among others.

These reverends commissioned work for Benjamin West. He proposed to adorn St Paul’s cathedral with pictures. nevertheless. his proposal was rejected by the bishop of London. He so proposed to paint an reredos for St Stephen Walbrook and his proposal was accepted. For his great plants in England. West came to be named. “American Raphael”

Drummond one time tried to do West give up portrayal and give himself to more ambitious composing. He tried to convert the male monarch to sponsor Benjamin West. nevertheless ; things didn’t work out good for him. The male monarch gave him the first committee of painting the going of Regulus from Rome. West was shortly on really good footings with the male monarch because of his great work. They held drawn-out treatments about the province of art in England. and that is when the thought of set uping a royal college began. In 1768. the college was established. and Joshua Reynolds became its first president. In 1772. Benjamin West was appointed by King George as the historical painter to the tribunal at a fee of ?1. 000 yearly. He made many historical pictures among them a set of 28 plants for a chapel at the palace with the subject “the advancement of revealed religion” and nine portrayals of royal household members. two been for the male monarch. From 1791 to his decease. Benjamin West remained the surveyor of the king’s image. One of the greatest pictures of Benjamin West was the decease of General Wolfe. made in 1770 and exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1771. This picture raised assorted reactions when it was exhibited. Joshua Reynolds. the so president of the Royal academy. termed it as overambitious. However ; the picture became one of the most often reproduced images. This picture was a presentation of the Gallic and Indian war. screening of his general Johnson salvaging a hurt Gallic officer from the Tomahawk of a North American Indian in 1768. Other historic pictures of Benjamin West include the decease of Nelson which was made in award of Horatio Nelson. who died at the conflict of Trafalgar.

When Reynolds died in 1792. West became the president of the Royal Academy up to 1805 when he resigned and was replaced by James Wyatt. One twelvemonth subsequently. he was re-elected the Academy president and served the president until his decease. The fact that West was functioning as the president of the Royal Academy in London had a important consequence to the Americans. Many American creative persons such as Augustus Earle. Ralph Earl. Samuel Morse. Charles Wilson. Mathew Pratt. among others. studied under him in London ( Wetton & A ; Jarvis. 1821 ) Benjamin West besides did a series of spiritual pictures. He painted his first spiritual graphics Christ mending the sick at the beginning of the nineteenth century. which he intended to show as a gift to a Quaker infirmary in Philadelphia. However. it dint happen as he had planned for he subsequently sold the graphics to a British company at ?3. 000. The organisation presented it to the National Gallery. West subsequently on made a transcript to direct to Philadelphia.

The result of that painting led him to making even larger spiritual plants such as decease on a pale Equus caballus which was exhibited in 1817. He besides made artistic representation of the transition of Paul in his mold of the reredos at St Paul’s church in Birmingham. In his life. Benjamin west demonstrated a really strong sense of finding. Despite the fact that he was non so much educated. he still worked difficult and emerged as one of the great painters of his clip. He was non the sort to give up easy on a undertaking he had set Forth to set about. Despite Drummond’s effort to do him give up portrayal and wholly give himself to more ambitious composings. he ne’er gave in to Drummond’s wants. Drummonds secret plan to convert the male monarch to sponsor him latter ended up beef uping the relationship between Benjamin West and the male monarch. It is the same relationship that led to the constitution of the Royal Academy which turned out to be an of import establishment to both the English people and the Americans. He ended up functioning as the president of the Academy until he died at his house in London on 11th March 1820.

When he exhibited his picture. the decease of General Wolfe. it was termed as overambitious. This. nevertheless. did non impede him from exhibiting it. and it latter turned out to be one of the most often reproduced images of the clip.

Benjamin West proposed a undertaking to adorn St Paul’s cathedral in 1766 though his proposal was rejected by the bishop of London. he didn’t give up doing other proposals. Finally. his proposal to paint an reredos for St Stephen Walbrook was approved. Benjamin was a adult male of finding and the desire to accomplish whose success chiefly originated from his character of non giving in to disheartenments and resistance. This finding helped him and helped his people.

Benjamin’s personal involvements are clearly portrayed in his graphics. It is evident that he had an involvement in political and leading personal businesss. In his life-time. he had brushs with many leaders and solons such as Benjamin Franklin and King George

The brush with leaders and solons had a great impact on his graphics. He painted the portrayals of these solons and of the Royal household which remain of import up to day of the month. He besides made pictures at the province constructions such as the pictures at St George’s hall at Windsor palace.

The passion for escapade is clearly portrayed when Benjamin goes to Italy and on his manner back to America he visits England where he settles and ne’er goes back to America. This escapade helps him progress his picture and graphics accomplishments. He copies the graphics of Italians such as Titian and Raphael.

In his life-time. he demonstrated his involvement in faith by making spiritual picture and interacting with the members of the clergy. The graphics. Christ mending the sick. shows that he was a Christian and believed in the power of healing. He besides made an artistic feeling of the transition of Paul at St Paul’s church. This spiritual nature made him make numerous spiritual pictures

His first spiritual work. Christ mending the sick. was originally intended to be a gift to a quacker infirmary in Philadelphia. This shows that he was a charitable adult male. and this made him do gift pictures.

It is besides evident that West was a historiographer who was analyzing history and entering history to be used in the hereafter. He painted images of societal. political and spiritual history. His picture. presentation of the queen of Sheba at the tribunal of King Solomon. is from scriptural history. He besides painted William Penn’s pact with the Indians. This was a historic pact that was believed to hold been signed many old ages back. This involvement in history opened up countries in which he could pull pictures.

Benjamin was besides a really societal adult male. In his life. he interacted with so many people with whom he shared thoughts and who helped him raising and improved his picture accomplishments. This can be traced right back from when he was a immature male child. and he interacted with the Native Americans who taught him how to do pigment. Subsequently on in his life he interacted with people from all backgrounds. He met creative persons. reverends. political leaders. bargainers such as gunsmiths and many more classs of people. This exposure non merely earned him the cognition in graphics. but it besides opened up opportunities of making a market for his picture accomplishments. He painted portrayals of the leaders he interacted with. made spiritual picture for the churches after interacting with the church leaders.

Benjamin West’s pictures help us understand the American literature and the sort of life they lived before achieving independency. The fact that he made a picture and entitled it “Christ Mending the sick” . is adequate to convert us that the Americans were Christians even during their pre-colonial period

Benjamin West’s picture. William Penn’s pact with the Indians. assist us understand that the American had interacted with the Indians even before America attained freedom. It besides portrays the peaceful and the welcoming nature of the Americans during this clip. It is besides apparent that America had non to the full embraced formal instruction during the colonial period. Peoples used to go to informal schools where they learnt proficient accomplishments such as picture. In his picture. Benjamin Franklin pulling electricity from the sky. painted in 1816. we learn that the American efforts to develop energy begun every bit early as the nineteenth century. This picture and others he did hold proved to be of great importance in following the history and literature of America

It is. hence. clear that even in his grave ; Benjamin West will ever be remembered for his part in making mentions for the American literature and political. societal and spiritual history of the Americans ( Dillen. John & A ; Benjamin West. 1997 ) .


Dillen Berger. John. Benjamin West: the context of his life and work. peculiar attending to his graphics with spiritual topic. including a correlative version of the nineteenth- century West’s pictures. exhibitions. and gross revenues records. and alas. San Antonio: Trinity University Press. 1977.

Helmut von. and Allen Staley. The pictures of Benjamin West. New Haven: Yale University Press. 1986.

Meyer. Jerry D. . The spiritual pictures of Benjamin West: a survey in late eighteenth and early 19th century moral sentiment. Capital of texas: cy. 1973-1974.

The life of Benjamin West. London: Wetton & A ; Jarvis. 1821.

West. Benjamin. and Charles H. Morgan. Benjamin West. his times and his influence: an exhibition. May 9-30. 1950.

Beginning papers

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