General Monck Receiving Charles II on the Beaches of Dover

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Benjamin West (American, 1738–1820)
General Monck Receiving Charles II on the Beaches of Dover, 1782
Oil on canvas
60 × 85 in. (152.4 × 215.9 cm)
Layton Art Collection Inc., Purchase L1964.6
Photo credit: John R. Glembin
Currently on View

Painted in 1782 at the peak of Benjamin West's career, this historical scene represents the restoration of the English monarchy to power in 1660. Charles II (1630–1685) is in the center of the composition; his former enemy General Monck and a delegation of nobility are receiving him upon his return to Dover after a long period of political unrest. Although born in Philadelphia, West spent much of his life in England and held the esteemed positions of historical painter to George III and president of the Royal Academy. His themes from British history were intended to convey virtues such as courage, patriotism, and self-sacrifice, characteristics that likely appealed to his noble patrons.

Publication History
Eastberg, John C. and Eric Vogel. Layton’s Legacy: A Historic American Art Collection 1888–2013. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Layton Art Collection, Inc., 2013, pp. 18, 322, 328, 330–31, 342–45, and 461, color pl. 29, p. 342, color illus. p. 331, color detail pp. 343 and 344–45.

Milwaukee Art Museum News, May 2007, no page number, color detail.

Baltimore Museum of Art. Benjamin West. Baltimore: Baltimore Museum of Art, 1989, p. 63, cat. 29, b/w illus.

Erffa, Helmut von, and Allen Staley. The Paintings of Benjamin West. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1986, no. 48, 68 and 70, color illus. pp. 75, 206 and 427.

Goldstein, Rosalie, ed. Guide to the Permanent Collection. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Milwaukee Art Museum, 1986, p. 74, b/w illus. p. 74.

Graves, Algernon. The Royal Academy of Arts: A Complete Dictionary of Contributors and Their Work from Its Foundation in 1769 to 1904. Vol. 8. New York: B. Franklin, 1972, p. 214.

New York Historical Society Journal (July 1959): illus. p. 296.
Exhibition History
Benjamin West, Baltimore Museum of Art, May 28–August 20, 1989.

American Painting 1760–1960, Milwaukee Art Center, 1960.

Royal Academy, London, 1783, no. 91.

This information is subject to change as the result of ongoing research.