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

of them, as works of art, were yet possessed of 
such a decided superiority of intellect, that their 
approbation in any case would have been 
esteemed great praise.  
The incidents attending his voyage to Italy, 
and his introduction to the artists, virtuosi, and 
travellers at Rome, were still more auspicious. 
Taken in connection. with his previous history, 
they form one of the most remarkable illus- 
trations of the doctrine of fortune, or destiny, 
that is to be found in authentic biography. 
Without any knowledge of his abilities or 
acquirements, his arrival in the capital of Christ- 
endom, the seat of the arts, was regarded as 
an interesting event: his person was contem- 
plated as an object of curiosity; and a strongidis- 
position to applaud his productions, was excited 
by the mere accident of his having come from 
America to study the fine arts. A prepossession 
so extraordinary has no parallel. It would 
almost seem, as if there had been some arrange- 
ment in the order of things that would have 
placed Mr. West in the first class of artists, 
although he had himself mistaken the workings


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