The Death of Lord Viscount Nelson

  • About the work
    Country: St. Helena
    City: Jamestown
    Place: Governor's Office

  • About the artist
    James Heath was born in London; the son of a bookbinder. In 1771 he was apprenticed to engraver J. Collyer the younger. He became a leading engraver in line, stipple and etching. He produced 100 prints after designs by T. Stothard for ‘Novelist’s Magazine’ and numerous works after contemporary artists, including R. Westall and R. Smirke. He also engraved plates for J. Boyell’s Shakespeare Gallery and for his own volumes of Shakespeare’s work. His son George became a serjeant-at-law, while Charles was also an engraver. In 1791 Heath became an associate of the Royal Academy. He was appointed Historical Engraver to George III in 1794 and served as such under successive monarchs. He amassed a considerable fortune before dying in London aged 77.
    Benjamin West was born in Springfield, Pennsylvania. He received some training, probably from John Valentine Haidt, before travelling to Italy in 1760. Whilst there, West met German painter and art critic Anton Raphael Mengs and Scottish history painter Gavin Hamilton. In 1763, he settled in London and exhibited mainly historical subjects, which were well received. In 1772, he became historical painter to King George III and, in 1791, surveyor of the King's pictures - a lucrative position. A founding member of the Royal Academy, West exhibited there from 1769 to 1819 and succeeded Sir Joshua Reynolds as President. As well as painting history subjects, he also painted portraits and landscapes and designed stained-glass.
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  • Details
    The Death of Lord Viscount Nelson
    1 May 1811
    Purchased from Colnaghi, April 1952
    GAC number