Object Record

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Object ID Number SAM 1951.246
Object Name Painting
Artist West, Benjamin
Title Portrait of William Whitworth Moon
Date ca. 1748 - 1759
Culture American
Credit line Museum Aquisition Fund
Exhibit Label Benjamin West began his artistic career as a portrait painter. Born near Springfield, Pennsylvania, West exhibited a talent for painting at an early age and was encouraged to draw by his parents. By the age of fifteen, West was well-known locally for his portraits and by 1756, he had enrolled in the College of Philadelphia.

This portrait is likely from his early years as a primarily self-taught painter. Although we do not know anything about William Whitworth Moon, we can infer that he was a man of some means due to his fine suit and lace collars and by his ability to commission a portrait of himself.

West sailed for Rome in 1760 and eventually settled in London where he was a founding member of the Royal Academy. He obtained the patronage of King George III and became a recognized leader in the field of history painting, inspiring many young American artists including Charles Wilson Peale and Gilbert Stuart.
Medium Oil Paint
Material Canvas
Image size H 29 1/4" x W 24 1/4"
Currently on view Yes
People West, Benjamin
Moon, William Whitworth
Subjects Portrait