The portrait of Mrs Peter Beckford, 1797, one of four half-lengths painted by West for William Beckford (see H. von Erffa and A. Staley, The Paintings of Benjamin West, New Haven and London, 1985, pp. 492-3, no. 593). Other drawings related to the portrait are at Swarthmore and the Morgan Library.
PROPERTY OF THE COLUMBUS MUSEUM OF ART, OHIO, SOLD TO BENEFIT ITS ACQUISITION FUND
About Benjamin West
Extremely popular among the 18th-century British aristocracy and royalty, Benjamin West’s work is primarily composed of commissioned portraits and history paintings. West is best known for his 1770 painting The Death of General Wolfe, which caused a stir when it was displayed at the Royal Academy because the figures were shown wearing contemporary clothing rather than classical garb. Later in his career, West began to focus on religious subject matter in his work and began to devote a great deal of effort to teaching American-born artists in England, such as Charles Willson Peale and Matthew Pratt.
American, 1738-1820, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, based in London, United Kingdom