General Monk Receiving Charles II on the Beaches of Dover
General Monk Receiving Charles II on the Beaches of Dover, 1782
Oil on canvas
60 × 85 in. (152.4 × 215.9 cm)
Layton Art Collection, 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. Charles II (1630-1685) is in the center of the composition, being received in 1660 by General Monk and a delegation of nobility upon his return to Dover after a long period of political unrest. West was the first American painter to achieve an international reputation, and was regarded in his day as the greatest artist in England. In London, West held positions of great prominence as historical painter to George III and as president of the Royal Academy.
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