Victorian colour wood engraving, after the original painting by Benjamin West (1738-1820)
Contained in an antique bird's-eye maple frame
The Death of Lord Viscount Nelson, K.B.
A fine Victorian colour wood engraving after the famous original painting by Benjamin West (1738-1820) which hangs today in the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. When Nelson met West in 1801 he had admired his earlier and similar depiction of the death of General Wolfe and expressed a desire to be the subject of his next painting, little knowing that it would be his own heroic death that was depicted. West finished the painting in 1806 and within a month of it being exhibited it had been seen by 30,000 people.
West meant the painting to be an idealisation of the scene of Nelson’s death and stated that it was a picture “of what might have been, not of the circumstances as they happened”.
Leighton Brothers were a firm of Victorian printers who were at the cutting edge of developments in colour printing. George Cargill Leighton (1826-1895) had trained under George Baxter, and went into partnership with his brother Charles Blair Leighton (1823-1855). They produced the World’s first colour edition of a newspaper in 1855.