A8: What do paintings tell us about the British Empire?

This painting is called ‘The Death of General Wolfe' by Benjamin West. It was painted in 1770. General James Wolfe was a young general in the British army who led his troops in an impossible battle against the French at Quebec in what we now call Canada.  Although outnumbered, his men won a famous victory - and saved British colonies from being taken by the French...for a while. Wolfe was killed and this painting shows his death scene.

Look carefully at the painting. Find General Wolfe. What different ways has the artist made Wolfe look heroic?



You do not have to use this painting. There are many different so called hero's of Empire that you could look at. You could analyse  a famous painting of Robert Clive, or Lord Nelson, or Ghandi.

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