Programs and Tours
Occasion for Revolution? Benjamin West's Death of General Wolfe
Benjamin West’s 1770 canvas The Death of General Wolfe was one of the most celebrated paintings in eighteenth-century England. After initially expressing reservations about West’s depiction of the death of Major General James Wolfe in the 1759 defeat of the French at Québec, Sir Joshua Reynolds, President of the Royal Academy, stated that “I foresee that this picture will not only become one of the most popular, but occasion a revolution in art.” This talk by curator Carole McNamara will look at how West’s painting figured in the tradition of eighteenth-century military commemorations, including other depictions of Wolfe, and examine why it is that West’s version became the iconic portrayal of this important military victory.
Generous support for this exhibition is provided by the Joseph F. McCrindle Foundation, the University of Michigan Health System, the University of Michigan Office of the Provost and Office of the Vice President for Research, the Richard and Rosann Noel Endowment Fund, and THE MOSAIC FOUNDATION (of R. & P. Heydon).
Sunday, 23 September, 2012
Helmut Stern Auditorium
University of MichiganMuseum of Art
525 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1354