Volltext: The life, studies and works of Benjamin West, Esq. president of The Royal Academy of London

be as much struck as every other person, with -the 
extraordinary circumstance of an American com- 
ing to study the line arts; and begged that Mr. 
VVest would show him a specimen of his profi- 
ciency in drawing. In returning home, our Artist 
mentioned to Mr. Robinson that as he had never 
learnt to draw, he could not produce any sketch 
like those made by the other students; but that he 
could paint a little, and if Mr. Robinson would take 
the trouble to sit, he would execute his portrait to 
shew Mengs. The proposal was readily acceded 
to, and itwas also agreed, that except to two of 
their most intimate acquaintances, the undertak- 
ing should be kept a profound secret. When 
the picture was finished, it was so advantageous 
to the Artist, that it tended to confirm the opi- 
nion which was entertained of his powers, founded 
only on the strength of the curiosity which had 
brought him from America. But, before shew- 
ing it to Mengs, it was resolved that the taste 
and judgment of the public with respect to its 
merits should be ascertained. 
one of 
the secret, lived as a Roman gentleman, and twice


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