Biography

Gilbert Stuart, 'Benjamin West, P.R.A.' ?exhibited 1781
Gilbert Stuart
Benjamin West, P.R.A. ?exhibited 1781

Benjamin West PRA (October 10, 1738 – March 11, 1820) was an Anglo-American painter of historical scenes around and after the time of the American War of Independence and the Seven Years' War. He was the second president of the Royal Academy in London, serving from 1792 to 1805 and 1806 to 1820. He was offered a knighthood by the British Crown, but declined it, believing that he should instead be made a peer. He said that "Art is the representation of human beauty, ideally perfect in design, graceful and noble in attitude."

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