Portrait of a Gentleman in a Wide-Brimmed Hat
Portrait of a Gentleman in a Wide-Brimmed Hat

Follower of BENJAMIN WEST P.R.A. (1738-1820)

Portrait of a Gentleman in a Wide-Brimmed Hat

1790 United Kingdom

Offered by Darnley Fine Art

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Follower of Benjamin West

Late 18th Century
Portrait of a Gentleman in a Wide-Brimmed Hat
Oil on canvas
Image size: 30 x 25 inches
Contemporary carved gilt frame
This elegant half-length portrait, painted in the style of West, depicts a seated gentleman wearing a black hat and green coat with his left hand resting on the spine of a large book clasped under his

The strong contrast of light and dark follows West’s own work, and the inclusion of the cocked hat, which has been used to create a strong shadow across the top of the gentleman’s forehead, is reminiscent of West’s own self-portrait.

Benjamin West was one of the most prominent artists of his time. President of the Royal Academy from 1792 until his death, he received many commissions from George III and other English patrons, and at the same time served as teacher and advisor to three generations of American artists in London.

He was born in Springfield, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia, on October 10, 1738. His earliest paintings were portraits of children. He went to Italy in 1760 to continue his study of painting and after three years, he settled in London.

West worked primarily as a painter of historical and religious subjects, and as a portrait painter as patronage required. The first pictures he exhibited in London at the Society of Artists in 1764 were subjects from Renaissance literature. George III then commissioned the artist, marking the beginning of royal patronage of West, who painted some sixty pictures for the King.

West is best known for his painting, The Death of General Wolfe, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1771. A milestone in English and American art, this was the first major depiction of a contemporary event with figures in modern clothing.

As George III withdrew his support in the 1790s, William Beckford became an important patron, and commissioned religious paintings and portraits for his Gothic Revival country house, Fonthill Abbey.
Americans who studied with West brought his style and techniques back to America, providing a foundation for the growth of the arts in America and creating a style of considerable sophistication.
Height 30.00 inch (76.20 cm)
Width 25.00 inch (63.50 cm)
Oil on canvas
Darnley Fine Art

Darnley Fine Art

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