Circle of Benjamin West (Pennsylvania 1738-1820 London)
The Holy Family oil on panel, laid down on panel 26.6 x 21.5 cm. (10¾ x 8½ in.) unframed
An attribution to Benjamin West is given on an old label in Spanish on the reverse of the panel. Intriguingly, two works by West, current whereabouts unknown, are recorded which may relate to the current composition. Firstly a Madonna and Child, 11 x 8½ in., was exhibited at West's Gallery in 1821 (no. 19) and later offered by the artist's sons to the United States in 1826 before subsequently being sold by them through Robins, London, 22-25 May, 1829, lot 41 ('Madonna and Child', 11 x 8½ in.), bt. for £23.10.0 by R. Boston. The description of this lost work in the Robins sale catalogue reads: 'Painted in 1765, subsequently to West's return from Italy. Highly wrought, and composed and coloured in the feeling of the Italian school. The artist's passionate admiration of the Correggiesque style is identified with this elegant cabinet picture.' West further associated the name of Correggio with a picture of A Holy Family, in imitation of Correggio's manner, which he exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1773 (no. 311). The artist later told Joeseph Farington that in 1765 'his mind was full of Correggio (Helmut von Erffa and Allen Staley, The Paintings of Benjamin West, nos. 302 and 303, pp. 326-327).
Please note that the present lot bears the signature 'B.West' (lower left).