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Let This Be a Lesson: Lecture 7

Benjamin West, Agrippina Landing at Brundisium with the Ashes of Germanicus, 1768. Oil on canvas. Yale University Art Gallery, Gift of Louis M. Rabinowitz

Truth to Power: Benjamin West’s Agrippina Landing at Brundisium with the Ashes of Germanicus

Friday, November 1, 2013, 1:30 pm

One of West’s great masterpieces, this work depicts an act of piety and defiance by a Roman matron. We discuss the American-born West’s remarkable career (he was Historical Painter to George III) and how he managed to distill in a single picture everything that matters about the heroine’s story.

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Lecture Video

John Walsh presents Let This Be a Lesson: Lecture 7.

Recommended Readings

Allen Staley’s article and his book (with Helmut von Erffa) treat the Gallery’s painting expertly and at length.

To access subscription-only articles, or for assistance with any of the below materials, please visit the Nolen Center Library at the Yale University Art Gallery.

On the Artist

Alberts, Robert C. “Benjamin West.” In Grove Art Online (by subscription only).
Access Online

von Erffa, Helmut, and Allen Staley. The Paintings of Benjamin West. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1986: 44–50, 179–80.

On the Painting

Staley, Allen. “‘The Landing of Agrippina at Brundisium with Ashes of Germanicus.’” Philadelphia Museum of Art Bulletin 6, nos. 287–88 (October 1965): 10–19.

On the Subject

Tacitus. The Annals. Trans. Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb. Book III (A.D. 20–21).
Access Online

Note: For the benefit of the lecture audience, we are supplying a recommended reading list as well as links to useful online sources. Any author or publisher who believes that his or her rights have been violated should contact Rights and Reproductions at the Yale University Art Gallery at yuagrights@yale.edu.