Monday 27 October 2014

Farington Diary entry for 8 July 1806

July 8. - Mr. West I called on & saw his original pictures of the death of Genl. Wolfe & La Hogue, both belonging to Lord Grosvenor. - Saunders, a Sea man, who is represented in West's picture of the death of Lord Nelson, kneeling before His Lordship came in, and I conversed with Him abt. the action. He treated as ridiculous what Lucas, the French Captain said to Buonaparte of his having silenced the firing of the Victory. He sd. He never saw Lord Nelson after He was wounded for He was carried below immediately. West has made a picture of what might have been not of the circumstances as they happened.

West said that owing to Heath having fixed a price for the print of the death of Lord Nelson before the picture was painted £1500 had been lost. When Heath saw what the picture contained He told West He must have 600 guineas more for the engraving than He first proposed. The price of the print was then advanced to Proofs 6 guineas, common impressions 3 guineas; before the Proofs were charged 4 guineas & the Common impressions 2 guineas, at which prices so many subscribers were obtained that the loss by the difference will be £1500. West mentioned that Lord Elgin came to see that picture & on seeing the pictures of Genl. Wolfe and the battle of La Hogue said He had the fine prints which were engraved from these pictures & He asked West who painted them. West sd. He had met with other instances of like ignorance.

The Farington Diary, vol.III, ch.LXXIII [1924edn., p.272]