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

unworthy manner in which he required the 
artists to gratify his personal vanity. He 
then proceeded to give some professional 
advice. " I wish," said he, " to leave this 
impression on the minds of all who hear me, 
that the great alphabet of our art is the human 
figure. By a competent knowledge of that 
figure the painter will be enabled to give a 
more just character and motion to that which 
he intends to delineate. When that motion is 
actuated by passion, and combined with other 
figures, groups are formed. These groups make 
words, and these words make sentences; by 
which the painter's tablet speaks a universal 
language  and he concluded with saying, 
" Gentlemen, It is a great treasure and a great 
trust which is put into ourhands. The fine 
arts were late before they crossed the British 
Channel, but now we may fairly pronounce that 
they have made their special abode with us. 
There is nothing in this climate unpropitious 
to their growth; and if the idea has been con. 
ceived in the world, enough has been done by 
the artists of Great Britain to disprove it. I 
know that I am speaking to the first professional


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