Benjamin West

1738 (Springfield, Pa.) – 1820 (London)

Reynolds and West were co-founders of the Royal Academy of Arts in London. From his position as second president of the R.A., he helped younger American artists like Morse, Peale and Allston, as well as more established ones like Copley and Stuart (in Trumbull’s case, even saving him from execution as a spy). Constable was among British artists he advised and supported. He met Mengs in Italy, and was a good friend of Franklin, whose portrait he painted. The engineer Fulton, who originally wanted to be a painter, stayed in West’s London house for some years while studying with him.