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Monet to Matisse: Masterworks of French Impressionism is on view now!
Artist
Henry Benbridge
Title
Dr. James Lynah (1737-1809)
Date
c.1800
Medium
oil on canvas
Dimensions
Canvas: 49 7/8 × 40 1/4 inches (126.7 × 102.2 cm)Framed: 63 1/4 × 52 7/8 × 4 3/4 inches (160.7 × 134.3 × 12.1 cm)
Tags
Painting
Credit Line
Gift of James Lynah.
Accession Number
1949.16
James Lynah was born in Dublin, Ireland, where he received his medical degree. While serving as a surgeon in the British Navy, he was shipwrecked near Kingston, Jamaica. From there he came to St. Stephen’s Parish in South Carolina, where his closest neighbor was Francis Marion, who would become known as the “Swamp Fox,” a hero of the American Revolution. Lynah himself served with the American patriots in Colonel Daniel Horry’s regiment at the siege of Savannah by the British. He attended Count Casimir Pulaski and extracted the bullet from which Pulaski died. In 1789, he helped to found the Medical Society of South Carolina, and at the time of his death he was Surgeon General of South Carolina.

Artist Henry Benbridge was born and educated in Philadelphia, and moved to Charleston in 1772. A patriotic Revolutionary, Benbridge was imprisoned by the British from May 1780 to 1782 in St. Augustine, Florida. He eventually returned to Charleston to paint, and spent his last years in Philadelphia, no longer an active artist.