General Monck Receiving Charles II on the Beaches of Dover
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
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.
Eastberg, John C. and Eric Vogel. Layton’s Legacy: A Historic American Art Collection 1888–2013. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Layton Art Collection, Inc., 2013, p. 342-5, color pl. 29, p. 342, color illus. p. 331, color detail p. 343, 344-5.
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, 70, color illus. p. 75, 206, 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.
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.