Benjamin West, (October 10, 1738 – March 11, 1820) was an Anglo-Americanpainter of historical scenes around and after the time of the American War of Independence. He was the second president of the Royal Academy in London, serving from 1792 to 1805 and 1806 to 1820. Benjamin West
Early life • West was born in Springfield, Pennsylvania. • He was the tenth child of an innkeeper. • From 1746 to 1759, West worked in Pennsylvania, mostly painting portraits. • The meeting with John Wollastonchanged his life.
Early life • West learned Wollaston's techniques for painting the shimmer of silk and satin, and also adopted some of "his mannerisms, the most prominent of which was to give all his subjects large almond-shaped eyes, which clients thought very chic.
Career • In 1760 West traveled toItaly where he expanded his repertoire by copying the works of Italian painters such as Titian and Raphael. • West was a close friend of Benjamin Franklin, whose portrait he painted. Franklin was also the godfather of West's second son, Benjamin.
Career • 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.