For the exercise ‘Analyse a painting of a Historical Event’ I chose this painting by Benjamin West, The Death of Nelson which is on display at Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery. It is a painting I have seen many times but never realised that it was painted by an Anglo-American artist so I thought I’d do some research on him to find out more.
Benjamin West was born in Pennsylvania in 1738 which at that time would still have been a British colony. In 1763 he came to Britain on his way back to America from a visit to Italy and stayed until his death in 1820 and is buried in St Paul’s Cathedral. He became the 2nd President of the Royal Academy in 1792 after the death of Joshua Reynolds a post he held until he resigned in 1805 but was re-elected the following year and held the post until his death.