Harvesting at Windsor

Harvesting at Windsor

Benjamin West, American, 1738-1820
Work Locations: Italy, England
Oil paint on canvas
Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust

Benjamin West 
American, 1738–1820
Harvesting at Windsor, 1795    
Oil paint on canvas
Signed and dated on basket in lower right corner, B. West / 1795 / Windsor 1805 [the later date added by the artist]
Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust, 2018.26

This object is currently on view
image height: 20 in, 50.8000 cm; image width: 27 1/4 in, 69.2150 cm; frame height: 28 5/8 in, 72.7075 cm; frame width: 35 3/4 in, 90.805 cm; frame depth: 3 1/2 in, 8.89 cm
European and American Art Before 1900
European Painting and Sculpture before 1900

Benjamin West painted this picture from a series of sketches he made near Windsor Castle in 1795. The principal residence of the British monarch, the castle is visible on the distant horizon. The true subject of the painting is the lively group engaged in harvesting wheat, the amorous couple in the foreground, and the elegant onlookers in the right middle ground. West’s depiction recalls two venerable traditions: the Labors of the Months from medieval Books of Hours and the Arcadian, pastoral landscapes of sixteenth-century Venice. The painting remained in West’s studio until his death and was sold by his sons in a major studio sale of their father’s paintings in 1829. In the catalogue of the sale it was revealed that the group in the right middle ground are friends of the artist and may include a self-portrait in the figure at the extreme right.

Known Provenance
Studio of the artist; his sons Raphael and Benjamin West; their sale, Robins, London, May 22-25, 1829, lot 64; from which acquired by Mr. Dolman. With (Frost and Reed, Bristol, U.K.), 1956. M. Bernard, London. With (Newhouse Galleries, New York), 1960; from which acquired by Thomas Mellon Evans, 1960; his sale, Christie's, New York, May 22, 1998, lot 42; from which acquired by William M. B. Berger and Bernadette Johnson Berger, Denver; Berger Collection Educational Trust; gifted to the Denver Art Museum, 2018.
Exhibition History
  • “Treasures from the Berger Collection: British Paintings 1400-2000” — Denver Art Museum, 10/2/2014 – 9/9/2018

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