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The death of General James Wolfe, as painted by Benjamin West

Caption: The death of General James Wolfe, as painted by Benjamin West

This 1769 work by Benjamin West is the best-known image of British General James Wolfe’s death at Quebec in 1759. Seen from left to right are: Colonel William Howe wearing a cap and a green coat, Simon Fraser of the 78th (Highland) Regiment of Foot just above, Captain Debbieg, an Indian, Brigadier Robert Monckton, Colonel Napier, Captain Hervey Smith ADC, Colonel Isaac Barré, Colonel Williamson of the Royal Regiment of Artillery and Lieutenant Henry Browne of the 22nd Regiment of Foot above, Wolfe, Surgeon Robert Adair in a blue civilian coat, Wolfe’s servant and a grenadier of the 35th Foot. West’s painting is an artistic masterpiece but it is far from accurate. The artist put in anyone who could prove they were at Quebec and who would pay him. Thus, officers who were in various other places are all grouped around Wolfe. One who did not pay (Henry Browne, who helped carry Wolfe from the field) is shown obscured. Adair did not attend Wolfe. Napier’s identity is in doubt. (National Gallery of Canada)