29 Works, October 9th. is Benjamin West’s day, his art, illustrated with footnotes #220

Benjamin West, American, 1738-1820
Death on the Pale Horse, c. 1796

Oil on canvas
23 3/8 × 50 5/8 inches (59.4 × 128.6 cm)
Detroit Institute of Arts

The title of this painting is taken from the final book of the Bible, the Revelation of Saint John the Divine, which has often been interpreted as a symbolic description of warfare: “And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And Power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth to kill with the sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth” (Rev. 6:8).

In this horrifying chronicle of the destruction of humankind, the rugged irregular forms, the dramatic contrasts of light and dark, and the dynamism of the turbulent movement combine with the distorted faces and pitiful gestures of the dead and dying to convey a sense of terror. The violent furor exhibits a destructive dynamism that makes this one of the most awesome depictions of the methods by which a world may be annihilated.

In 1796, the year this work was painted, England was at war with revolutionary France, and West’s picture may have been intended to comment on what was happening, or was expected to happen, in the contemporary world. More on this painting

Benjamin West, PRA (October 10, 1738 — March 11, 1820) was a British-American artist who painted famous historical scenes such as The Death of Nelson (See below), The Death of General Wolfe (See below), the Treaty of Paris (See below), and Benjamin Franklin Drawing Electricity from the Sky…

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08 works, Today, August 21st, is the Forefathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob’s day, his story illustrated #233

Abraham is known as the patriarch of the Israelite people through Isaac, the son born to him and Sarah in their old age and the patriarch of Arabs through his son Ishmael, born to Abraham and Hagar-his wife Sarah’s Egyptian slave-girl…

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04 Works, Today, April 16th, is Mary Brant’s day, With Footnotes – #102

Molly Brant (1)
Sara Tyson
Three Faces of Molly Brant

Mary Brant, (born 1736?—died April 16, 1796, Kingston, Ontario [Canada]), Native American leader, an influential and effective Iroquois ally to Great Britain in the American Revolution and later a founder of Kingston, Ontario.

Brant was of the Mohawk tribe, the daughter of a sachem (chief). Sometime in the late 1750s she came to the attention of Sir William Johnson, hero of Crown Point in the French and Indian War and superintendent of Indian affairs for the northern colonies. Following the death of his wife, he took a Mohawk woman as his mistress. Brant succeeded her and bore him eight or nine children while living with him at Fort Johnson and later Johnson Hall, his manorial estate. She also managed his household and entertained many distinguished Native American and colonial guests…


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