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After Benjamin West (1738-1820)

A self-portrait of Benjamin West
with his son 1775

RCIN 663719

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Benjamin West was the first American painter of international repute, and this print was published at the height of his popular acclaim in London. The geometrical calm of the composition is tempered by the sentimental inclusion of West's son Raphael, looking over his shoulder at the drawing that he is making. West may have wished to emphasise his respectability as a citizen of his adopted country, for the print was issued in the year of the first battles of the American Revolution against British colonial rule.

No. 73