William Lawrenson. “Benjamin West.”
London: Lawrenson & Pether, ca. 1780. Mezzotint by William Pether. 16 x 12 (image). Margins just trimmed into image on left and right hand side. Lacking imprint at bottom and title shaved. Print is backed on an older piece of heavier paper. Print is in stable condition. Ref: Smith, Volume III, entry 34; Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography. Volume 45. p. 316.
A very rare portrait of the famous American painter Benjamin West by the English artist William Lawrenson. Lawrenson was a portrait and subject painter who lived in London in the latter half of the 18th century. He was a member of the Incorporated Society of Artists and exhibited there from 1765-1770 and also exhibited at the Royal Academy 1774-1780. William Pether was an engraver who studied under Thomas Frye. Pether was admitted into the Royal Academy in 1778 and exhibited between 1781 and 1794. He died about a year later. This beautifully executed mezzotint is considered to be the most scarce portrait print of Benjamin West and depicts the artist at about forty two years of age.