SKU: A01254 Category:


Description: This fascinating letter connects three prominent artists of the late 18th/early 19th centuries.

Benjamin West writes to Samuel Lysons and expresses his “opinion (as President of the Royal Academy)… [of] the abilities of Mr. Richard Smirke… he is highly accomplished in drawing the human figure, as well, as in the management of colours… no one more capable of delineating the work you assigned to the care of his pencil…”

Benjamin West (1738-1820), an American expatriate in London, was named Historical Painter to the Court of King George III. He was largely responsible for founding the Royal Academy and was its second president.

Samuel Lyons (1763-1819) was a British engraver and antiquarian. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1797 and was a professor in the Royal Academy.

Richard Smirke (1778-1815) studied painting at the Royal Academy and is best remembered for his work as an antiquarian draughtsman.

This autograph letter signed is written on a 9″ x 7″ piece of laid paper and is dated November 12, 1800 from West’s home on Newman St. in London. Paper is boldly watermarked: “Hayes & Wise”. Item #A01254

Condition: Toned around the perimeter from prior matting, two small remnants of hinging tape on verso, otherwise good condition… quite readable with a good, strong signature.