Benjamin West, Purchase of a Picture for the British Institute
n 1811, Benjamin West completed the painting Christ Healing the Sick. The painting had been intended for Pennsylvania Hospital, which had approached West in 1800 about producing a work for the first hospital in the United States. When it was exhibited in England, however, the painting proved to be very popular, and West was pressured into selling the painting. It sold for 3000 guineas, the greatest amount that had been paid for a modern work, and became the first work to be hung in the new National Gallery.
West was so flattered by the sale of his work that he commissioned this medal to be struck. He presented it to each of the subscribers of the purchase of Christ Healing the Sick.
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