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1783 "Treaty of Paris" painting by Benjamin West — Archival print produced under license

Regular price $ 129.95
Regular price Sale price $ 129.95
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Offered through special arrangement with The Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum, owners of the painting, in celebration of the 240th anniversary of the signing on September 3, 2023.

This unfinished painting, titled “American Commissioners of the Preliminary Peace Negotiations with Great Britain,” shows John Jay, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Henry Laurens, and William Temple Franklin (presented from left to right) early during the negotiation process. (Laurens and the younger Franklin were not present at the treaty's signing.)

The British delegation comprising representative Richard Oswald and his secretary, Caleb Whitefoord, declined to pose.

Today the painting is in the collection of the Winterthur Museum, which has graciously given us the opportunity, under license, to provide the first full-sized reproduction we know of.

Size and framing options:

  • 19" x 24" — Available framed and unframed

The archival paper: Printed in the US on fine art grade 230 gsm 100% cotton rag, acid free, archival paper with archival inks.

Frame choices: Made in America solid wood frame with your choice of for frames in different styles and finishes.

Glazing: We use a museum-grade, non-glare acrylic that offers UV-protection.

Notes on the framed prints: We do not frame these with a mat. It seems more authentic without a mat. Use a microfiber cloth or similar to remove dust and fingerprints. Do not use household cleaners on the frame or on the acrylic.

Framed items can not be returned.

Shipping for framed prints: $20 for the 19" x 24" framed print.

Historical background on the Treaty of Paris

Dr. Eliga H. Gould, Professor of History at the University of New Hampshire, gave a presentation on a Zoom call for the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History on September 7, 2023. His presentation begins at the 5:20 mark.


About the painting, from Winterthur, which owns the painting

"Henry Francis du Pont, the founder of the Winterthur Museum, collected American decorative arts, 1640 to 1840, because of their great beauty and exquisite craftsmanship.  He also was drawn to objects with impressive histories, what he called “evidences of America’s past.”  Clearly one of the most significant pieces in his 18th-century collection is the painting 'American Commissioners of the Preliminary Peace Negotiations with Great Britain,' done by Benjamin West in 1783-1784.  Painted in oils on canvas, this famous historical work hangs in a place of honor in the Du Pont Dining Room at Winterthur.

"Until the early 1960s, this canvas and other versions were believed to be of the signing of the Final Articles of theTreaty of Paris, which took place on September 3, 1783. However, by that date, Laurens was no longer part of the Commission, Benjamin Franklin's grandson, William Templeton Franklin, was not permitted to sign, and Lord Shelburne's government (represented by Oswald and Whitefoord) had fallen (in February 1783) as a result of heated Parliamentary debate over the Preliminary Articles. The coalition of Fox and Lord North, who succeeded Shelburne, sent David Hartley to sign for the British.

"West never completed the picture because Richard Oswald refused to sit for his portrait. John Quincy Adams recorded in his diary in 1817 that West told him that 'Mr. Oswald, the British Plenipotentiary, was an ugly looking man, blind of one eye, and he died without leaving any picture of him extant. This Mr. West alleged as the cause which prevented him from finishing the picture many years ago.'

"There is another copy of this painting in the Diplomatic Reception Rooms at the US Department of the Senate. That painting does have an inscription in pencil on the front of the piece that reads 'Original sketch by Benjamin West.' However, it is unclear if the sketch was completed by West and painted in by another artist, or if it replicates the piece entirely and includes credit to the original artist."

Source: Winterthur


© Copyright 2023 Winterthur.


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