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Benjamin West
Photographer: Allen C. Browne
Taken: April 1, 2016
Caption: Benjamin West
Additional Description: This 1819 self-portrait of Benjamin West hangs in the Smithsonian American Art Museum, transfered from the U.S. Capitol.

Six months before he died, West looked unflinchingly into the mirror to paint his self-portrait. He holds a drawing pencil and wears a painter's robe and beaver hat, which identify him as a founder and president of the Royal Academy of Art. The light is strongest on his face and hands, but the rest of the picture falls into shadow, as if he foresaw his own end. West was official painter to the King of England and the first American artist to gain an international reputation. His example led generations of American artists to measure their art and professional identities by European standards. -- Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Submitted: June 26, 2019, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.
Database Locator Identification Number: p481089
File Size: 0.749 Megabytes

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