Design for a tympanum for Greenwich Hospital; the Immortality of Nelson by Benjamin West

Design for a tympanum for Greenwich Hospital; the Immortality of Nelson

Benjamin West

Fine art poster

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Design for a tympanum for Greenwich Hospital; the Immortality of Nelson by Benjamin West zoom

Design for a tympanum for Greenwich Hospital; the Immortality of Nelson

This is West's pen, ink and wash design for the tympanum of the pediment of the King William Courtyard of Greenwich Hospital, commissioned by the Hospital Directors and executed in Coade stone by West and Joseph Panzetta in 1812. The design is a stretched and developed version of West's 'Immortality of Nelson', (NMM BHC2905), itself conceived originally in 1807 as a painted 'altarpiece' in a Nelson monument, of which West's full oil version is in the Yale Center for British Art. Both paintings were shown at the RA in 1807 and BHC2905 subsequently engraved as the frontispiece to Clarke and McArthur's hagiographically official 'Life' of Nelson, 1809. The new elements of the tympanum version were heavily influenced by the Elgin Marbles, which were also first exhibited in London in 1807, and the Coade factory regarded the finished result - which is approximately 10 feet high at the apex and 50 feet wide - as their master work. The drawing is signed and dated 'B. West 1810' and, with the matching one for an unexecuted Howe tympanum, PAJ3118, is part of the Greenwich Hospital Collection. The paper is badly darkened by over exposure to light and mounted on an old card backing, with frame stretcher marks on the reverse.
Benjamin West

Original size: 340 mm x 1760 mm

  • Image reference: PT3117

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