Raphael Lamar West

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Raphael Lamar West
The Forest God
Pen and brown ink, on oatmeal paper.
6 3/8 x 8 5/8 inches (168 x 219 mm)
Purchased as the gift of Mrs. Robert H. Charles.

Inscribed on verso in graphite by a modern hand, "RL West".

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. 264.


Watermark: 1805.
This drawing, as well as 1970.11:67, was probably inspired by Raphael West's sojourn in America from 1799-1802. A poem and notes jotted down in West's sketchbook of 1799-1800, at the Rutgers University Library, reveals a fascination with the idea of a "Forest God." Below a poem about a "Forest God" is jotted, "The Savages of North America believe in a Great Spirit inhabiting their Forrests." The drawing can be related to a lithograph of the same subject, signed and dated "R.L. West. 1802," at the British Museum, London.

Associated names: 

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

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