Essay on The Death Of General By Benjamin West And John Trumbull

1247 Words Sep 16th, 2016 5 Pages
Conflict and war in America in the 18th century had a profound impact on the paintings created during that time period. Artists focused on capturing important battles and deaths of important people on canvas. Two famous artists during this time period were Benjamin West and John Trumbull. Benjamin West was born in Pennsylvania in 1738, but left the colonies permanently to study art in Europe in 1759. He settled in England, where he served as King George III painter, and helped found the Royal Academy. John Trumbull, who was born in 1756 in Connecticut, spent some time in the Continental Army as a map maker. In 1780, he went to London and became a student of West. Benjamin West, in his painting entitled The Death of General Wolfe in 1770, captured the death of a major leader in the campaign to win the French and Indian War. Similarly, John Trumbull’s The Death of General Montgomery in the Attack on Quebec depicted the death of another military commander during the 18th century. The teacher-student relationship, along with living in the same time period produced many similarities in their work, but also led to distinct contrasts of individuality in their paintings when analyzing their style, medium, subject matter, theme, and context.

Artists, Trumbull and West, conveyed contrasting views of war and death through their individual use of style and medium. Both of these paintings were done in the same style known as history painting. “In the late 18th century,…

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