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BENJAMIN WEST

Oil on canvas, 1783–84
35 1/2 x 27 1/2 in. (90.2 x 69.9 cm)
National Portrait Gallery, London
NPG 349


In John Boydell's gallery, Benjamin West (1738–1820) and his work were everywhere the visitor looked. Stuart's portrait of William Woollett recalled West's initial claim to fame with The Death of General Wolfe; the image of John Hall included West's painting William Penn's Treaty with the Indians; and Stuart's portrait of West himself referred to West's current work: a thirty-six-picture commission for King George III's so-called Chapel of Revealed Religion at Windsor Castle. Stuart's inclusion of the figure of Moses behind West is clever, for in broadcasting West's major undertaking for the king, it depicts West in a situation similar to Moses's—receiving orders from on high (for West, the king).


GALLERY:  1. Stuart in Newport & Scotland  |  2. Stuart in London  |  3. Stuart in Dublin  |  4. Stuart in New York
  5. Stuart in Philadelphia  |  6. George Washington Gallery  |  7. Stuart in Washington, D.C.   |  8. Stuart in Boston

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