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Allegory of Botany
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Allegory of Botany


Benjamin West (1738 - 1820)

Pen and ink, wash (brown and blue) on paper

Height: 36.3 cm; Width: 47.9 cm;

Acquisition (source, method, date)
Witt, Robert Clermont (Sir); bequest; 1952

About this work
This large allegorical drawing, which mimics the appearance of a sculptural relief,

combines classical motifs with unusual elements, such as the exotic plants at

right. The American-born West, one of the founding members of the Royal Academy and its second president, was commissioned to provide designs for a series of thirteen panels to decorate the ceiling of the Queen’s Lodge at Windsor. Each painted panel represented a different branch of science or commerce; they were destroyed in 1823 and only West’s designs survive. (Permanent collection label)

Copyright: © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London

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