[The Angel][He is not here: for he is risen. &c.]
[first published 1803]
Pen lithograph, sheet 315 x 225mm (12˝ x 9"). Glued to backing sheet; trimmed, losing text below image. Unidentified collector's stamp verso.
Text from Matthew 28:6, in which the angel of the resurrection directs women looking for the crucified Jesus to 'see the place where He was lying'. A landmark in the history of lithograph, this original print by Benjamin West has been described as 'the first lithograph of artistic merit ever done in any country' (Felix Man). It was published as one of the twelve pen lithographs from 'Specimens of Polyautography', the first set of artist's lithographs ever published (by Philipp André in 1803). The new medium allowed artists to draw directly onto a prepared stone, allowing artists to make prints which arguably resembled drawings more than any earlier printmaking technique. Unlike many printmaking techniques, lithography required no special training as artists could work directly onto the plate and leave specialist printers to actually make the prints. For this reason many painters who were not trained printmakers (such as Géricault and Delacroix) produced lithographs. West (1738-1820) was an Anglo-American painter of historical scenes around and after the time of the American War of Independence. He was the second president of the Royal Academy in London, serving from 1792 to 1805 and again from 1806 until his death.
Ex: collection of the late Hon. C. Lennox-Boyd; Man, '150 Years of Artists' Lithographs', cat. 1.
[Ref: 36698] £2,200.00