David Wagner - New England Historical Artist


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The Signing of the Treaty of Paris

Benjamin West's unfinished painting


This depiction of the signing of the treaty between America and Great Britain by American Artist Benjamin West (1730-1820) was left unfinished because he could not get British Commissioner and member of Parliament David Hartley to sit for the painting. Hartley had posed for individual portraits before, and had actually signed the treaty, but refused to sit for this painting because he said he was "too ugly." In all probability he was commanded by his superiors not to pose, as this loss to the American Colonies was difficult to imagine and no artistic reminders were needed.

This treaty, signed on Sept. 3, 1783, between the American colonies and Great Britain, ended the American Revolution and formally recognized the United States as an independent nation.
The treaty is named for the city in which it was negotiated and signed. The last page bears the signatures of David Hartley, who represented Great Britain, and the three American negotiators, who signed their names in alphabetical order: John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay.

David Wagner, seeking to cap off his series of the French involvement in the American Revolution, looked over West's unfinished work and decided to pick up where he left off.

Wagner's painting, shown below, will be unveiled at the Carroll Museum, 800 Lombard Street, Baltimore, MD on September 2, 2008 and will be on display there through September 30, when the collection will move to Yorktown and Gloucester, VA in October.

Wagner's painting is for sale; interested parties may submit bids to the artist directly at (860) 450-1587 or info@davidrwagner.com.


David Wagner's painting of the Signing of the Treaty of Paris


David R. Wagner -- New England Historical Artist

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