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

them to acquire the pre-eminence which they. 
unfortunately believe they have already at- 
tained. But these opinions, with respect to the 
peculiarities of the French taste, though deduced 
from incidental remarks in conversations with 
Mr. VVest, must not be considered as his. The 
respect which he has always entertained towards 
the different members of his own profession, 
him to express 
never allows 
in any terms 
that might possibly be construed by malice 
or by ignorance, to imply any thing derogatory 
to a class which he naturally considers among the 
teachers of mankind. He may think, indeed he 
has expressed as much,,thvat the style of the 
French Artists is not the most perspicuous; and 
that it is, if the expression may be allowed, more 
rhetorical than eloquent ; but still he regards 
them as having done honour to their country, 
and, in furnishing objects of innocent interest to 
the minds of mankind, as havingdwithdrawn so far 
the inclinations of the heart from mere sensual 
objects. The true use of painting, he early 
thought, must reside in assisting the reason to 
arrive at correct moral inferences, by furnish- 


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