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

ALTHOUGH Mr. West was, strictly speaking, a 
self-taught artist, yet it must be allowed tlmat 
in his education he enjoyed great and sin- 
gular advantages. A strong presentiment was 
cherished in his family, that he would prove 
an extraordinary man, and his first rude sketch 
in childhood was hailed as an assurance of the 
fulfilment of the prediction of Peckover. The 
very endeavours of his boyish years were ap- 
plauded as successful attainments; no domestic 
prejudices were opposed to the cultivation of 
his genius; even the religious principles of the 
community in which he lived were bent in his 
favour, from a persuasion that he was endowed 
by Heaven with a peculiar gift; and whatever 
the defects of his early essays may have been, 
it was not one of the least advantageous circum- 
stances of his youth, that they were seen only 
by persons, who, without being competent judges 
A 4-


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