Revealed Religion : Benjamin West. 001 of 100 Bible images
c. 1780. Pen and ink, watercolour and body colour. 27.5 x 24.8 cm (sheet of paper). For the wall paintings for the Chapel planned by George III at Windsor Castle. At the centre, Moses receiving the tablets on Mount Sinai, with a scene of the Last Supper below. West enjoyed many years of patronage under George III, and was President of the Royal Academy and Surveyor of the King’s Pictures. In the 1780s he was involved with the refurbishment of St George’s Chapel, Windsor, making designs for stained glass and for an altarpiece that were removed in the 19th century. In 1780, West was also commissioned by the King to produce paintings for another Royal Chapel at Windsor. The intended location of this chapel remains unclear, and the project was never completed, with the King withdrawing funding in 1801. West called this project “the great work of my life”, working on the paintings for over twenty years and exhibiting all of the eighteen paintings he executed for it at the Royal Academy, but they were never installed in the chapel, instead remaining in his studio until his death. West described the series as illustrating “the progress of Revealed Religion, from its commencement to its completion” (John Galt, The Life and Works of Benjamin West, 1820). The decorative scheme included moments from the Old and New Testaments. West produced many preparatory studies and oil sketches for the project. This artwork was transferred to the Royal Library from the Ministry of Works in 1959.