West & Copley Flashcards Preview

American Fine Arts 1650-1860 > West & Copley > Flashcards

Flashcards in West & Copley Deck (12)
Loading flashcards...



  • American Career→ 1748-1760
  • Moves to England in 1763
  • Leaves for England becomes president of the Royal Academy 1792, was allowed in earlier
  • Will Influence generations of American painters who travel to London to study


Benjamin West

1768→ West, Agrippina Bringing the Ashes of Germanicus to Brundisium

  • Showing of historical knowledge
  • Sculptural, Neoclassical, nods to Classicism, looking back to Ancient forms.
  • Background building could be based off of Robert Allen’s print Could be Diocletians palace. Central group from the frieze on Ara Pacis in Rome.
  • Painting is meant to evoke idea of sacrificing one’s self for others-- moralistic ideals, religious ideals. White dress=purity and morality
  • “Poussinist”, tight linear style, strong direct lighting, horizontal lines, bold colors
  • Her husband is Germanicus


Benjamin West

1770→ Death of General Wolfe

  • Shows recent history as a history painting
  • Contemporary clothes
  • Risky from English standpoint, Wolfe dies in Christ like position. Religious composition= universal understanding of the theme.
  • Ground stops while battle rages on
  • Shows North American because of Native American representation
  • Reynolds claimed it was inappropriate because men were wearing modern clothes
  • 7 Years War depiction
  • As a result of this painting, West becomes history painter to King and plays off idea that he is Mr. America ;-) Seen as charming
  • Because of the negative reaction from this painting, West didn’t do the Revolutionary War paintings (Trumbull did)


1771→ Penn’s Treaty with the Indians

  • Creation of Pennsylvania
  • American’s trick Indians (relay)


Benjamin West

1817 (1796) → Death on a Pale Horse

    “Rubenist”, bold diagonals, high drama


Matthew Pratt,

1765→ The American School

  • Chippendale chair
  • West’s studio in London, West is figure on left




Born 1738

  • Born in Boston
  • 1774 he goes to England after talking to West for 9 years.
  • Early portraits typical American (shadows on face)- Later/after England neoclassica


John Singleton Copley

1765→ Henry Pelham, Boy with the Squirrel

    He step towards English highs style


John Singleton Copley,

Paul Revere,



John Singleton Copley

1775 Mr and Mrs. Ralph Izard

  • He started using Classical structure in the background
  • Showing wealth in their clothes
  • Shows travel with different antiquities
  • Stayed in Copley’s studio for his life


John Singleton Copley

1776 → Copley family.

Brushier, glazing, softness, color management, flow of light and shadow, focus

on faces rather than surroundings.


John Singleton Copley

1778→ Watson and the Shark

  • Watson had stake in the tea that would famously be thrown overboard during the Boston Tea Party
  • Like West’s Gen. Wolfe, shows a recent history event but instead of being a well known figure like wolfe, Watson was a relatively unknown man with no real prominence (step further)
  • Shows people in contemporary dress
  • Savanah harbour background
  • Sculptural representation of Watson- Classical references can be made to the figure.
  • Prometheus story much more plausible- reflective of strength of human will and agency as a defining factor for determining success
  • Figures arranges to strengthen the composition.