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Richard Westall RA, A Peasant Boy

A Peasant Boy, ca. 1794

Richard Westall RA (1765 - 1836)

RA Collection: Art

Westall is best known as a painter and illustrator of historical and literary subjects. He contributed pictures to Boydell’s Shakespeare Gallery and Fuseli’s Milton Gallery, as well as illustrating the work of Sir Walter Scott and Lord Byron. Westall trained at the Royal Academy Schools from 1785. He became a close friend of Sir Thomas Lawrence, and lived with his family between 1790 and 1794.

Lawrence and Westall presented their Diploma Works on the same day, and perhaps influenced each other in their similar choice of subjects. Although Westall’s work is titled A Peasant Boy, the inclusion of a sheepdog and staff and the upward gaze of the boy give him a saintly air and suggests the subject symbolizes the Christ child as the good shepherd.

Object details

A Peasant Boy
Richard Westall RA (1765 - 1836)
ca. 1794
Object type
Oil on canvas

911 mm x 710 mm x 20 mm

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
Diploma Work given by Richard Westall RA accepted 1794

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