The Death of General James Wolfe (1727-1759) (after Benjamin West PRA)

George Roth (fl.1771-1815)
National Trust Inventory Number 529071

Category Paintings
Date 1784 (signed and dated)
Materials Oil on canvas
Measurements 622 x 832 mm (24 1/2 x 32 3/4 in)
Place of origin
Collection Quebec House, Kent (Accredited Museum)
On show at Quebec House, Kent, London and South East, National Trust

A reduced sized version of Benjamin West’s famous painting ‘Death of General Wolfe’. This version, by George Roth, shows Wolfe dying having lead the British Army to victory at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759. Although similar to West’s original, Roth added to the emotion of the painting by adding more tears to the eyes of the soldiers gathered around Wolfe as well as adding to his wounds.

Summary description

Oil painting on canvas, The Death of Wolfe (after Benjamin West PRA) by George Roth (fl.1771-1815), signed and dated: G. Roth 1784.

Full description

This reduced size version of Benjamin West’s ‘Death of General Wolfe’ was for many years considered to be by the artist until cleaning revealed the signature of George Roth and the date 1784.

West’s masterpiece was in such demand that he himself painted at least six large versions as well as a number of smaller copies. Public demand was not satisfied by ownership of Wollett’s engraving and many other artists produced their own versions of West’s painting. Superficially identical, Roth has emphasised the emotive elements to add further drama to West’s work; the soldiers looking on in adulation now have more pronounced tears in their eyes, Wolfe’s wounds are more severe, the bandages have more blood with blood even dripping to the ground from the wound in Wolfe's chest.

Provenance

Bought for Quebec House in 1948 by the Trustees of the Mrs Learmont (Montreal) Fund

Marks and inscriptions

G.Roth 1784 (signed and dated)

Makers and roles

George Roth (fl.1771-1815), artist
after Benjamin West PRA (Swarthmore 1738 - London 1820), artist

Exhibition history

On the Trails of the Iroquois - Death of General Wolfe, Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin, Germany, 2013 - 2014
On the Trails of the Iroquois - Death of General Wolfe, Kunst und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn, Germany, 2013 - 2014

Related items

Place of origin
Materials Canvas (9981)
Oil paint (8234)
Category Paintings (12562)
Collection Quebec House, Kent (Accredited Museum) (615)
Periods 18th century (84837)
Maker George Roth (fl.1771-1815) (1)
Benjamin West PRA (Swarthmore 1738 - London 1820) (43)
Subjects General James Wolfe (1727-1759) (36)
Object Type Oil painting (10915)

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