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According to Sir George Beaumont (1753–1827), who presented the present picture to the National Gallery in 1826, the young American artist, Benjamin West, painted Pylades and Orestes 'immediately on his arrival in England', presumably in 1763, when he arrived from Italy (National Gallery, p.56). It was first shown at the annual exhibition of the Society of Artists, London, in 1766, with its companion 'The Continence of Scipio' (Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum).
Oil on canvas
H 100.3 x W 126.4 cm
Presented by Sir George Beaumont Bt 1826