Benjamin West

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Benjamin West
Rebecca at the Well. Verso: Portrait of a gentleman and sketch of a group of women
Black wash over black chalk, with pen and brown ink, on two sheets of light brown paper pasted together; verso: black chalk.
13 5/16 x 20 5/8 inches (339 x 523 mm)
Purchased as the gift of Mrs. Robert H. Charles.

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Inscribed by the artist in pen and brown ink at lower left, "One of the first attempts at historical composition by Benj ["n" superscript] West. While in Philadelphia 1757".

Estate of the artist; by descent; Harry Margary, the great-grandson of Maria West (daughter of Raphael Lamar West, and granddaughter of Benjamin West); Thos. Agnew and Sons, Ltd., London; from whom purchased 60 drawings, 17 June 1964, and 197 drawings, 15 February 1965, by M. Knoedler and Co., Inc.; from whom purchased 257 drawings by the Morgan Library in 1970.

Kraemer, Ruth S. Drawings by Benjamin West and his son Raphael Lamar West. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1975, no. 1, repr.


Sketch of a group of women on the verso was probably in preparation for the composition on the recto.

Associated names: 

Margary, Harry, former owner.
Charles, Robert H., Mrs., donor.

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