1830 · Philadelphia
by (West, Benjamin). M'Quin, A. D.
Philadelphia: Garden and Thompson, Printers, 1830. 8vo. 213 x 135 mm., [8 ¼ x 5 ¼ inches]. 16 pp. Diagram of the painting appears on the front wrapper and in the text. Printed paper wrappers, stitched as issued; wrappers evenly soiled, stained with water marks, text stained with watermarks and foxing. With faults a sound copy. First American edition, originally published in London in 1814. The American edition contains a completely revised and expanded text. A subsequent edition appeared in Leeds in 1833. This copy with the word "Baltimore" crossed out on the title-page and in its place is written in ink, "the Hospital at Philadelphia". West's painting, Christ Rejected by the Jews was originally exhibited in London at the Royal Academy in 1814. A drawing in the collections of the Morgan Library show that it was hung in its own room at the Academy anticipating the thousands of visitors that would view it. The diagram on the front wrappers breaks down the composition of the painting, demonstrating the balance and perspective that West brought to the work. The text of the pamphlet describes each of the events portrayed and provides themes for the five compositional elements of the picture. Little about color pigments used in the painting are discussed as well and there is little or no critical analysis about the effectiveness of West's monumental work. Ange Denis Macquin was a miscellaneous writer who published poems on subjects relating to natural history and some minor theological tracts. (Inventory #: 675)