After Benjamin West The Death of General Wolfe oil on canvas, 160cm x 234cm (63" x 92")
Benjamin West's masterpiece, The Death of Wolfe, was exhibited at the RA in 1771; he and his studio later completed four large scale versions. The present work is likely to have used William Woollet's 1776 engraving as a prototype. In the painted versions the doctor attending Wolfe wears blue, not red and Wolfe's breeches are red, not buff as in this version. This suggests that the painter was not familiar with the colour scheme, probably because the five versions were in private collections and little exhibited during the 19th Century. Woollet's engraving was taken from the original work which differed from the four later versions in certain details. The most noticeable of these is in the depiction of the runner appearing with news of the victory to the left hand side of the image. In the primary version he holds a flag over his right shoulder, in the later versions he holds it to the fore, pointing into the composition.
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