Painter: Benjamin West
Medium: oil on canvas
Dimensions: Height 3,660 mm (144.09 in) Width 5,210 mm (205.12 in)
Current location: Scottish National Gallery
Benjamin West PRA (October 10, 1738 – March 11, 1820) was an Anglo-American painter of historical scenes around and after the time of the American War of Independence. He was the second president of the Royal Academy in London, serving from 1792 to 1805 and 1806 to 1820. He was offered a knighthood by the British Crown, but declined it, believing that he should instead be made a peer.
This staggering picture portrays a moment of violence, energy and heroism from the history of Scotland. Benjamin West specialised in such moments in his big and occasionally moving history paintings. In 1786 he finished this work that was commissioned by a member of the Clan Mackenzie who wanted to show off his ancestors. It shows a famous Mackenzie saving Alexander III in a sticky moment on a hunt. However legendary the event, West makes it a great moment in the history of the world.