• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7435

    British Works on Paper

    21 November 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 60

    Raphael Lamar West (1769-1850)

    View of Honeoye Lake, Ontario County, New York State

    Price Realised  


    Raphael Lamar West (1769-1850)
    View of Honeoye Lake, Ontario County, New York State
    pen and black ink, grey wash and scratching out, unframed
    4¾ x 7¾ in. (12.1 x 19.7 cm.)

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    The artist's family, and by descent to
    Mrs P. Howard; Sotheby's, London, 22 March 1979, part of lot 39, where purchased by the present owner.

    Pre-Lot Text

    Lots 60-64

    In August 1798 Raphael Lamar West travelled to America to survey some land that William Beckford, his father's patron, was considering buying in New York State. In her catalogue of drawings from this expedition in the Pierpont Morgan Library, Ruth Kraemer suggests that the purchase had been proposed by Benjamin West and his fellow American artist John Trumbull (R. Kraemer, Drawings by Benjamin West and his son Raphael Lamar West, The Pierpont Morgan Library, 1975, p. 96). Although it has been suggested that West owned the property himself and hoped to sell it to Beckford, the choice of Raphael Lamar as an independent surveyor suggests otherwise; as does the report to Beckford advising against the purchase due to an unjustifiably high price.

    Raphael Lamar made records of his journey in the form of sketches, which he then traced and worked up before sending back to Beckford via Benjamin West, as information about the progress of his survey. The present view of Honeoye Lake is probably one of these finished copies: an almost identical view in the Pierpont Morgan Library (fig. 1) is inscribed, 'I traced those I sent to England from this. For my Father May 8th 1799'. It has not been possible to identify the other dramatic landscapes.