Benjamin West PRA (1738-1820) succeeded Sir Joshua Reynolds as the 2nd president of the Royal Academy. One of the most famous early artists from North America and widely perceived as the Father of American art. During his extensive travels in Europe he was fascinated by Raphael's Cartoons including Raphael's version of St Paul preaching at Athens which can be currently seen at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London Room 48a, 'The Raphael Cartoons'.
He is famous for his large historical canvasses and was also commissioned to design works for many famous public buildings.
In the late 1790's he undertook work at the St Peter & St Paul Royal Naval College in Greenwich which included producing stone medallions for the pulpit.
The final study drawing seen (details in research pack) is currently stored at the Maritime Museum storage facility in Kidbrooke, London.
It is believed that our pen and ink drawing is a preliminary pen and ink study for St Paul preaching at Athens and is a very good example of Benjamin West's free flowing style. It has a diameter of 36cm and size including ornate gold frame is 46 x 47cm.