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Benjamin West, Sr.

Male 1738 - 1820  (81 years)


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  • Name Benjamin West  [1, 2
    Suffix Sr. 
    Born 10 Oct 1738  Newtown Square, Delaware Co, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 11 Mar 1820  London, Middlesex Co, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I20996  default
    Last Modified 26 Feb 2010 

    Father John West 
    Mother Sarah Pierson,   b. Abt 1695, of East Caln, Chester Co, Pennsylvania Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Family ID F920  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Elizabeth 
    Children 
     1. Benjamin West, Jr.,   b. 1792,   d. 1848  (Age 56 years)
    Last Modified 13 Apr 2007 
    Family ID F7260  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    Self Portrait [1763]
    Self Portrait [1763]
    Self Portrait of Benjamin West, 1763
    Benjamin West [ca 1783]
    Benjamin West [ca 1783]
    Painting (oil on canvass) by Gilbert Stuart circa 1783 of Benjamin West. Source: National Portrait Gallery (UK)
    Self Portrait [1793]
    Self Portrait [1793]
    Self Portrait of Benjamin West, 1793
    Self Portrait [1819]
    Self Portrait [1819]
    Self Portrait of Benjamin West, 1819
    The Treaty of Penn with the Indians
    The Treaty of Penn with the Indians
    Painting (oil on canvass) by Benjamin West circa 1771 entitled, "The Treaty of Penn with the Indians." The Indians present were the Lenape. Source: Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (Philadelphia)

  • Sources 
    1. [S756] Nichols Online Library, Digital Documents Researched and Scanned by Chad Nichols & Relatives, Nichols, Chad G., (Catalogue of over 40,000 relatives with more than 5,000 of them having documentation to support their place in the family tree. Some recent generation surnames include Anderson, Broman, Campbell, Cloward, Conder, Dutson, Ericksen, Farmer, Holyoak, Kump, Kylen, Mendenhall, Nichols, Nielson, O'Donnell, Richardson, Roberts, Shelley, Stone, and Walker. Most ancestors are from England, Denmark, Sweden, and Germany. [online] www.nicholslibrary.org 7783 S 4950 W West Jordan, UT 84081 USA) (Reliability: 3).
      Self Portrait, 1763 - 003230
      Self Portrait, 1793 - 003229
      Self Portrait, 1819 - 003228

    2. [S213] Wikipedia, ([online] www.wikipedia.org) (Reliability: 3).
      Benjamin West (October 10, 1738 March 11, 1820) was an Anglo-American painter of historical scenes around and after the time of the American Revolution.
      Born in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania as the tenth child of an innkeeper, Benjamin West was an autodidact. While excelling at the arts, "he had little [formal] education and, even when president of the Royal Academy, could scarcely spell."(Hughes, 70) From 1746 to 1759, West worked in Pennsylvania painting portraits while fostered by the provost of the College of Philadelphia, Dr. William Smith. Also, during this time West met John Wollaston, a famous painter who immigrated from London. West picked up on many of Wollaston's techniques dealing with the shimmer of silk and satin as well as some of "his mannerisms, the most prominent of which was to give all his subjects large almond-shaped eyes, which clients thought very chic."(Hughes, 71) In 1759, he moved to Italy where he expanded his repertoire by copying the works of Italian painters such as Titian and Raphael.
      In 1763, West moved to England, where he was commissioned by King George III to create portraits of members of the royal family. The king himself was twice painted by him. He painted his most famous, and possibly most influential painting, The Death of General Wolfe, in 1770, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1771. Although originally snubbed by Reynolds and others as over ambitious, the painting became one of the most frequently reproduced images of the period.
      In 1772, King George appointed him historical painter to the court at an annual fee of 1,000. West became friends with the English portraitist Sir Joshua Reynolds and founded the Royal Academy of Arts with Reynolds in 1768. He was the second president of the Royal Academy from 1792 to 1805. He was re-elected in 1806 and was president until his death in 1820. He was Surveyor of the King's Pictures from 1791 until his death.
      West is known for his large scale history paintings, which use expressive figures, colours and compositional schemes to help the spectator to identify with the scene represented. West called this "epic representation".
      He died in London.