'A midshipman on the upper deck, hand holding a rail', Benjamin West
Study of a midshipman by Benjamin West
This is a study for one of the figures in West’s painting The Death of Nelson. West found out as much information as possible about Nelson by talking to witnesses, making portraits of them and getting technical advice.
This drawing is for one of the many figures that West carefully arranged in the painting all directing the viewer’s attention to the fallen hero. The midshipman can be seen standing in the middle of a group towards the back of the painting.
Find out more about Benjamin West's completed painting in the Picture of the Month feature about the two Death of Nelsons on display at the Walker.
Detail from The Death of Nelson by West, showing the midshipman from the sketch