View alphabetical lists of all artists currently featured on the site.
Select the initial of the artist's name that you are looking for. Scroll down the list until you find the name, and select it for more information about the artist and his or her work.
Artists are organised by their most commonly-used names. This is usually but not always their surname e.g. Leonardo da Vinci is under L, Van Gogh is under V and Raphael is under R.
Benjamin West (American / English, 1738 - 1820)
West was the first American artist to gain an international reputation, above all for his dramatic history painting. He was born in Pennsylvania and received no formal artistic training. The four years he spent in Italy (1759-63) confirmed his interest in depicting heroic subjects from ancient and modern history. He moved to London and established himself first as a portrait painter. He was a founder member of the Royal Academy and succeeded Sir Joshua Reynolds as its President. The triumphal success of his painting 'The Death of General Wolfe' (1771) led to his appointment as history painter to King George III.